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THULHIJA 25, 1431 AH

Heavy rain and floods kill 30 in Morocco

East Sudan pins hopes on Kuwait donor forum PAGE 6

NO: 14925

Ramallah looks ever more like Palestinian capital



150 FILS

WCup bid race mix football and politics PAGE 20

Government tactic aborts NA meeting Lack of quorum cited; MPs blame the govt

Kuwait minister ‘wants Gitmo detainees dead’

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Electricity and Water Minister Bader Al-Shraiaan attend the Gulf Cooperation Council Electricity and Water ministers meeting in Kuwait City yesterday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Kuwait relies on fuel for power; gas tight DOHA: OPEC-member Kuwait may continue burning more fuel to fire power plants due to limited gas output, the chief executive of Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) said yesterday. The Gulf Arab state does not have enough natural gas to meet power demand and burns a large volume of oil products at power stations. Like its oil-exporting neighbors, Kuwait has been slow to develop its gas reserves to meet domestic demand. “The plan is to burn less oil than gas, but if worse comes to worse we will continue to use expensive fuel,” Farouk Al-Zanki told reporters on the sidelines of an industry conference in Doha. The world’s fourthlargest oil exporter, which has a shortfall of about 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day (cfd), burns an average 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 300,000 bpd of fuel oil and gas oil per year, Zanki said. Zanki said he hoped Dorra gas field would help raise gas supplies. The Gulf Arab state pumps around 1 billion cfd of gas from oilfields, and 145 million cfd from gas fields not associated with oil. It plans to

nearly quadruple its gas production to 4 billion cfd by 2030. Output from the Dorra field is included in the plans. But that field is shared with Iran and has been a bone of contention between Kuwait and Tehran since the 1960s, and the two have yet to strike a deal on how to develop it. Zanki said an announcement for the reshuffle of executives at Kuwait Oil Co (KOC) and KPC might take place in December. Kuwait is plugging the gap between supply and demand with imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Tight supply has been exacerbated by OPEC-member Kuwait’s adherence to the producer group’s oil output restrictions since late 2008. As most of Kuwait’s gas is a by-product of oil production, when it pumps less crude, it pumps less gas. To counter this constraint, Kuwait is working on a scheme to increase output of non-associated gas fields to 1 billion cfd by 2016. In February, state-run Kuwait Oil Company signed a five-year service contract with Royal Dutch Shell to develop gas fields in the country’s north. — Reuters

Top cleric questions women driving ban JEDDAH: A top Saudi cleric challenged a ban on women driving yesterday, saying women should be allowed more social participation in the puritanical Islamic state. Saudi Arabia is a monarchy ruled by Al Saud family in alliance with clerics from the strict Wahhabi school of Islam. Women must be covered from head to toe and are not allowed to drive. “Clerics have studied the issue and no one has come up with a (Quran) verse that would forbid female driving...,” said Ahmad Al-Ghamdi, head of the Makkah region’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. “I do not consider it to be forbidden,” he told journalists on the sidelines of a women’s empowerment event in Jeddah. Women are subject to a male “guardianship” system which requires they show permission from their guardian-father, brother or husband-in order to travel or, sometimes, work. Religious police patrol the streets regu-

larly to ensure gender segregation and that women are dressed modestly. The rulers of the top oil exporter have wrestled with the issue of moderating the country’s strict adherence to an austere version of Sunni Islam. King Abdullah, a reformist, has replaced hardline clerics and officials with more liberal ones. Ghamdi has been on the front-line of the conflict between liberals and conservatives. He published a paper last year questioning the legality of gender segregation only to be fired from his post. The decision was later reversed. In his latest remarks, he said however that fear of repercussions from hardliners was getting in the way of change. “There is a lot of trepidation in the society,” he said. “Even those who have a conviction about the importance of women’s role in society are afraid of the harm and accusations that they may face and that is why a lot of people avoid opening that door.” — Reuters

KUWAIT: A crucial National Assembly session that was set to debate lif ting the immunity of opposition lawmaker MP Faisal Al-Muslim failed to take off yesterday for a lack of quorum as MPs blamed the government for deliberately plotting the scenario. Only one cabinet member, Communications Minister Mohammad AlBaseeri, attended the session and 14 others were absent. The 16th cabinet member, Social Affairs and L abor Minister Mohammad Al-Afasi is abroad on medical treatment. Although Baseeri’s presence was enough for the legitimacy of the session, but only 29 MPs attended, just three short of the required number. To add insult to the injury, four MPs entered the chambers as acting speaker Abdullah Al-Roumi adjourned the session for today. Lifting the immunity of MP Muslim has become highly controversial. The public prosecution has requested lif ting Muslim’s immunity so he can be interrogated in a lawsuit filed by Burgan Bank after the lawmaker showed a copy of a cheque issued by the prime minister during a secret session to interrogate the premier. Showing a cheque for another person is illegal in Kuwait but under the constitution, MPs are free to say anything under the assembly chamber and cannot be prosecuted for that. The National Assembly must vote on the request and it was expected to do this during yesterday’s session. The assembly must take a decision on the request within one month of receiving it from the public prosecution and if it fails to do so, the immunity is lifted automatically. For Muslim, the period expires on December 10. If the National Assembly does not meet today, Muslim’s immunity is likely to be lifted automatically since there are no other meetings for the assembly before December 10. That’s why MPs accused the government of plotting by not attending the session and expected the same scenario today. Actually, Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah is due to open an important donors conference for east Sudan exactly at the same time the assembly is due to start its session. Most of the ministers are also expected to attend the conference. Baseeri blamed MPs for aborting the session but a large number of MPs harshly criticized the government, charging that its action was deliberate so the one-month period lapses and Muslim’s immunity is lifted automatically. MP Mussallam Al-Barrak said that the government only knows how to run from facing issues. He said ministers did not attend the session because the government could not garner the needed number to lif t Muslim’s immunity. MP Muslim criticized Baseeri for his remarks, saying that it appears the government plans to boycott the session today. MP Khaled AlSultan said that if the Continued on Page 14

SCHWERIN: This illustration shows a woman watching the internet site of WikiLeaks. — AFP

‘Get rid of them; If they are rotten, they are rotten’ PARIS: Kuwait’s interior minister told a US ambassador his country did not want to see the return of Kuwaiti terror suspects held in Guantanamo Bay and suggested “the best thing to do is get rid of them.” The exchange between Sheikh Jaber Khaled Al-Sabah and the US envoy to Kuwait, which took place in February last year, was recorded in a US State Department cable published yesterday by the activist website WikiLeaks. Washington was urging Kuwait to accept the return of Kuwaiti nationals who had been detained at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on suspicion of belonging to Jihadist militant groups fighting in Afghanistan. “You know better than I that we cannot deal with these people,” the minister protested, arguing that Kuwait is a small and tight-knit society where family ties hold more sway than any legal measure he could take. “I can’t detain them. If I take their passports, they will sue to get them back. I can talk to you into next week about building a rehabilitation centre, but it won’t happen,” the sheikh said, according to the leaked cable. “We are not Saudi Arabia. We cannot isolate these people in desert camps or somewhere on an island. We cannot compel them to stay. If they are rotten, they are rotten and the best thing to do is get rid of them,” he said. “You picked them up in Afghanistan: You should drop them off in Afghanistan, in the middle of the war zone.”

The ambassador also asked the Kuwaiti minister’s advice as to what should have been done with seven Iranian hashish smugglers that were rescued by the US navy when their boat was found sinking in the waters of the Gulf. In that case, US forces returned the seven to Iran via authorities in Oman, but the minister suggested they might not have been so lucky had they been picked up by the Kuwaiti Coast Guard. “God wished to punish them for smuggling drugs by drowning them, and then you saved them. So they’re your problem! You should have let them drown,” the minister suggested, “smiling broadly”, according to the cable. In another development, Saudi King Abdullah proposed implanting Guantanamo detainees with electronic chips to monitor their movements after their release, WikiLeaks revealed yesterday. “I’ve just thought of something,” Abdullah blurted during a March 2009 meeting with White House counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan. The two were discussing the fate of 99 Yemenis still held at the time in the controversial US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The king proposed the prisoners be implanted with electronic microchips so that after their release they can be tracked “with Bluetooth” technology, a US embassy report on the meeting said. Abdullah explained that “this was done with horses and falcons,” according to the memo. But “horses don’t have good lawyers,” Brennan replied. — Agencies

Fresh ‘megaleak’ targets US bank ESSEN: This combo of photo shows a robin eating spiders in the snow-covered landscape in the western German city of Essen yesterday. Many parts of the country are experiencing cold weather with snowfall. — AFP

Heavy snow wreaks havoc across Europe LONDON: Snow and freezing temperatures severely disrupted airports in Germany and Britain and caused chaos and deaths on roads across Europe yesterday. More than 200 flights were cancelled at Frankfurt airport in Germany, the continent’s third busiest, while southern German states were blanketed by snow. Large parts of Poland were covered in thick snow, causing hundreds of accidents on the roads and at least four people were killed in accidents on snowbound roads in the Czech Republic. Switzerland suffered its coldest November night for 45 years as temperatures plunged below minus 30 degrees Celsius, according to national weather service Meteosuisse. Even Spain and Portugal were shivering after snow fell in the northern half of the Iberian Peninsula. Britain has been taken by surprise by its earliest widespread snowfall since 1993,

forcing hundreds of schools in Scotland and rural parts of England to close and causing treacherous conditions on roads and at smaller airports. Scotland and northeast England had fresh snowfall and the freezing weather has started moving down England’s east coast while London had its first sprinkling of snow this winter. London City Airport, a popular departure point for business travelers, was forced at one point to suspend all flights because of snow and ice before resuming with a heavily interrupted service. Edinburgh, Scotland’s busiest airport, was disrupted for a second day, but London’s Heathrow, one of the world’s busiest airports, said all its flights were operating normally. Britain’s Met Office issued severe weather warnings for most regions of the country and Continued on Page 14

WASHINGTON: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has claimed a fresh “megaleak” will target a major US bank “early next year,” according to an interview published Monday. Speaking to Forbes magazine, Assange said that he was ready to unleash tens of thousands of documents that could “take down a bank or two.” Comparing the documents to the emails that exposed Enron’s dealings amid its collapse, the controversial Australian said an existing “big US bank” was the subject of a pending data dump. Asked about any future leaks, he said: “Yes. We have one related to a bank coming up, that’s a megaleak. It’s not as big a scale as the Iraq material, but it’s either tens or hundreds of thousands of documents depending on how you define it.” The interview was conducted in early November, before Sunday’s publication of around a quarter of a million leaked United States embassy cables from WikiLeaks that have caused consternation in Washington and capitals around the world. Assange said the bank leak would “give a true and representative insight into how banks

behave at the executive level in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms, I presume. “Usually when you get leaks at this level, it’s about one particular case or one particular violation.” Amid the economic crisis a handful of “too big to fail” US banks have come under scrutiny for their dealings, particularly with mortgaged-backed securities that helped fuel the meltdown. Executives from Goldman Sachs and the now-defunct Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns have been hauled before Congress to explain their bank’s actions. Assange mentioned Goldman Sachs by name in the interview, but did not confirm the Wall Street giant will be the target of the leak. Goldman has recently agreed a 550 million dollar settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle fraud charges. Facing allegations of defrauding investors, the storied investment bank admitted it had made a “mistake” and given “incomplete” information to clients. Assange said that “about 50 percent” of the documents that the nonprofit organization holds relate to the corporate world. — AFP



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Investing in Kuwaiti youth

Kuwait hosts forum on role of small business By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: The ‘Small Projects and Active Participation in the Development Plan’ forum was held yesterday at the Salwa Al-Sabah Hall in Salmiya. Its

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received at Al-Seif Palace yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr Mohammed Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah who introduced Dr Hamad Saleh Al-Duaij, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary for Foreign Ministry, and Reem Mohammad Al-Khalid, the new ambassador to Chile. Later, both of them took a constitutional oath before HH the Amir.

The forum was held under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmad AlFahad Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Minister of State for Development Affairs and Minister of State for Housing Affairs. The recent world economic crisis revealed some of the mistakes in the present world economic system. “The crisis affected countries’ economies in different ways,” said Sheikh Ahmad Mishal Al-Sabah, Assistant Undersecretary in the office of the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs during the launching ceremony yesterday. “Kuwait was able to overcome this crisis with fewer losses because of the strength and stability of its financial institutions. We came out of this crisis concerned with the importance of verifying national income sources, founding productive projects and strengthening our cooperation with other countries.” The government reviewed its half annual report to follow the execution of the development plan. “This report includes the most important achievements and the decisions on planning,” he continued. “It also mentions the plan’s shortcomings and recommends how to overcome these obstacles. Additionally, the report should help us create a system that will allow us the right way to apply the plan. This report will be passed on to the parliament and be discussed amongst MPs as well.” The development plan includes about 400 small and medium sized projects that will be carried out within the next four years. “These projects will be connected to present and future large sized projects,” Sheikh Ahmad said. “All of the Public Authority for Applied

kuwait digest


here’s no doubt that Kuwait’s existing political blocs have changed greatly over the years through practicing their activities, changing into political movements with immense power and influence, utilizing strategies by which they can significantly affect government policy. This situation makes it seem as if these blocs became an alternative form of political movements in place of the political parties which usually operate publicly under a constitutional system. Political blocs in Kuwait are recognized by the government which doesn’t object to their existence or their practices. However, no action has yet been taken to organize and control these blocs’ work in order to prevent illegal practices. This sort of uncontrolled political work can have serious negative effects on society and national unity. In recent years, this situation has encouraged loyalty to the tribe and social group above loy-

KUWAIT: Sheikh Ahmad Mishal Al-Sabah cutting the ribbon to inaugurate the exhibition.

KUWAIT: Awarding ceremony. —Photos by Joseph Shagra productive economy,” added AlAnjari. “They provide work places in the short and long term and provide an environment that encourages the new generation to think, invent and create in work. It also

helps them improve their skills and competitive abilities.” The forum is organized by Leaders Group and is sponsored by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science, the

Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and the Kuwait Petroleum Company. Participating in the forum’s exhibition are the Public Authority for Industry and the Kuwait Science Club.

in my view

Control political blocs By Dr. Yaqoub Al-Sharrah

Education, Industrial Bank, Public Authority for Industry, Manpower Program, and the Kuwait Small Projects Development Co (KSPDC) will cooperate in executing these projects. The private sector will also play an important role in carrying out these projects.” Elite economic and academic personalities participated in the one day forum. The five speakers discussed the various ways small projects can aid economic development. The forum also included a review of similar experiences in Saudi Arabia. An exhibition accompanied the forum and the KSPDC displayed more than 30 investment ideas for small and medium sized projects. KSPDC was founded in 1997 as the result of a generous donation by former Amir the late Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. He founded the National Investment Fund portfolio with a capital of KD 100 million. “Since then the company has worked on encouraging private businesses in all fields,” said Hassan Al-Qinai, KSPDC’s General Manager. “The National Investment Fund was keen on spreading the importance of promoting private businesses. It also cares about developing the work skills of initiative individuals and work with them on establishing their private projects.” The fact that the development plan is still in the first stage of its execution highlights the importance of this forum, pointed out Nabeela Al-Anjari, Chairperson of Leaders Group. We need to unite our efforts in order to guarantee reaching the large and small goals that our country’s economic future depends on,” she noted. “Such projects are the main base of any real development and a

main goal was to discuss the important role small businesses play in developing the private sector and supported Kuwaiti citizens’ attempts to start their own businesses. Also discussed at the forum was how encouraging and investing in Kuwaiti youth can help economic development.

alty to the nation. This diversification of loyalties has unfortunately left its adverse impact on our society, which can be seen in the form of problems that emerge constantly, such as increasing corruption, the personal targeting of other politicians and rising levels of pessimism about the future. We have now reached a point at which we fear that the current sectarian struggles could escalate to reach a point of no return. This subject is very significant since Kuwait has bad memories in this regard. Back in 1990, Saddam Hussein and his backers made use of the splits between the political factions of the time in Kuwait to invade the country, leaving behind grave repercussions which can still be felt today. If the government doesn’t wish to introduce a system, of real political parties, then it must introduce legislation that can regulate the work of political blocs, in order to insure a better future for the Kuwaiti people. —Al-Rai

Wiki-tense region: Consequences of leaked documents By Fouad Al-Obaid


ith an outburst of applause and condemnation, objection and consternation regarding the leaking of secret, sensitive US diplomatic correspondence has been exposed to the world by whistleblower site, Wikileaks. The documents give insight on the tense nature of international affairs. The leaked information that began to surface on Sunday was massively featured in several newspapers that got prior access to them. It has certainly caused embarrassment in Washington. However more disturbingly, it has cast doubts on the state of the world affairs. The unveiling of sensitive information concerning our region will unfortunately make it harder for the countries of region who, for better or worse, have been trying to appease conflicting parties. They will find themselves in uncomfort-

able positions. Headlines such as “they lie to us, and we lie to them”, “program must be stopped,” to name but a few of the key phrases that emerged from various documents that were leaked are going to force countries in the region to play a “three card monte!” It comes at a time of increased tension in a region that is primarily concerned by Iran’s nuclear ambition, coupled with its recent increase in weapon spending and general armament. Iran’s weapons program is forcing various countries in the region to counter-engage with their own armament packages procured from supplier states. This I fear will launch a new regional arms race. Unfortunate as it may seem, the situation is bound to get tenser in the months to come. What priory was known by intelligence agencies and experts on the region to be true, now has surfaced from its hidden state beneath the dialogue table where countries pretended that it was non-existent, to a situation where it has become part of the main diplomatic feast. It is predicted that the effects of the leak will not manifest themselves in the next few

weeks. Rather, it will prompt all parties in the region to reassess their priorities and cross-check documents to see whether their allies and enemies are those they know to be. In what is set to be a real life James Bond-esque thriller, the countries of the region are going to have to work their diplomatic turf assessing and reassigning their priorities. Iran, Syria, Egypt and the Gulf states, are left to decipher the importance of the documents and how they will play into their respective ebb and flow of diplomats to various capitals. The timing could have not come at a worse time, with the official launch of the Busher nuclear reactor in Iran; the leaks will only but exacerbate an unstable situation. As a side effect, the various countries in the region will most certainly look for explanations from one another on the remarks that have been made public. For better or worse, it will most likely usher in a new era in the region, forcing the countries to craft solid policy in response to the leaks.

Ahmadi blast caused by a faulty cooker KUWAIT: The head of Kuwait Fire Services Directorate (KFSD) stressed on Monday night that an explosion in the kitchen of a home in the troubled Block 1 of Ahmadi had taken place due to a faulty cooker rather than the gas leak that has affected the area recently leading to hundreds of evacuations. Speaking after the event, KFSD director Maj Gen Jassem Al-Mansouri added that no casualties were reported in the incident. Local residents, teams working on resolving the gas leak crisis and firemen were initially alarmed by the blast, believing that it had been caused by the leaks. Meanwhile, it’s been reported

that the second phase of the ongoing salvage operation in the area will start shortly, with the ground beneath and around 106 of the homes in the area to be excavated in order to clear the remaining subterranean natural gas that has built up there. The measures are being taken in an attempt to reduce the level of atmospheric gas in the area back to zero, reported Al-Watan. An official working with the team carrying out the operation stressed that after the excavation work is carried out, the homes, gardens and surrounding areas would be returned to their previous state, estimating that the work would take around 15 days in total.

KUWAIT: A large number of students and staff members at the Saad Al-Abdullah police academy participated in a blood donation drive held there on Monday. The event was part of the Ministry of Interior’s cooperation with the blood donation campaign recently launched by the Central Blood Bank. After finishing work at the academy, the mobile blood donation unit sponsored by the bank was set to tour other interior ministry departments to garner as many donors as possible.

Blood donations on the rise KUWAIT: Citizens and residents have responded to calls made for blood donation by the Central Blood Bank. An average of 600 donors donated blood per day when compared to 250 last month. The campaign which was officially

inaugurated by Dr Hilal Al-Sayer, Minister of Health, covers several public and private firms where mobile units reach offices and collect donations from staff members, reported Al-Qabas. Dr Rana Al-Abdulraziq, Medical Services Supervisor at the Bank indi-

cates that at least 100 personnel from the Ministry of Health participated in the campaign during its first day; led by the minister himself. The Central Blood Bank is Kuwait’s only cache of blood required for medical facilities. It supplies both public and

private hospitals with blood, including the military and Kuwait Oil Company hospitals. The average annual rate of donors is nearly 60,000. The bank announced recently that it has been suffering from extreme shortages following the Eid Al-Adha holiday,

and launched a campaign through the Ministry Of Health to raise awareness on the importance of maintaining the bank’s supply. The campaign has so far proven to be successful, as 2,500 people donated blood during the first five days.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Awareness ‘key factor’ for state development KU holds lecture By Hussain Al-Qatari KUWAIT: The National Assembly will soon discuss the first report on the government’s development plan, said MP Massouma Mubarak in a seminar held at the Kuwait University College of Social Sciences in Shuwaikh yesterday. The seminar, entitled ‘Kuwait’s Development Plan: Goals and Obstacles’ focused on the “All segments of society are part of the development plan, including government, private and non-profit organizations as well as citizens and expats,” said Mubarak. She noted that Kuwait’s first development plan in the late 1960s and early 1970s built the foundations of the country, but due to political tension in the region from that point onwards, it became difficult to put a realistic development plan for the country. “The current plan is certainly much bigger and requires a lot of commitment and dedication from all responsible parties, and this is what we will work hard on achieving as parliament members,” said the MP. She stressed that the role of the parliamentarian is to assess the plan’s report and decide objectively whether it is a success or a failure. Mubarak noted that according to the law, the government is required to issue a detailed report every six months pointing out what has been achieved in the plan as well as the difficulties and obstacles that have been dealt with. “In the National Assembly, what we struggle with the most is when members decide to bring sectarian or tribal political debate into the subject. Separating between the pol-

role of sociologists in developing society. “The development of nations is three-dimensional: it is political, economical, and most importantly social. Society must be ready for change and development in order for it to witness development,” she said. By raising people’s awareness and dealing with social issues, the issues that affect their lives, development in countries can occur.

MP Massouma Mubarak itics and thinking of the accomplishments of this plan is of great importance as it affects the lives of this generation as well as the future generations,” added the

MP. The National Assembly has voted for a Priorities Committee, which oversees the plan’s progress and follows up with the projects. The projects

cover a number of aspects including social, environmental, women’s empowerment, technological, housing, energy, and economic issues.

Tighter monitoring for religious camps KUWAIT: Every year, teenagers aged between 14 and 18 attend spring camps that are held by the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs. They participate in various religious programs, in addition to several leisure activities. However, the lack of proper supervision and follow up action, according to a ministry

official, raises concerns about the effectiveness of these camps in helping youngsters utilize time constructively. Despite large sums of money being reserved to conduct such programs, they are not adequately monitored to ensure that the funds are well-spent. Furthermore, observers criticize the fact that these pro-

grams focus more on games like football, ignoring anti-terrorism workshops or activities to teach them some handicrafts, reported Al-Qabas. Moreover, some people have demanded responsible supervision at camps, explaining that the lack of supervision can lead children astray.




Wednesday, December 1, 2010

KCP-Radisson Blu hotel to present grand finale

Carmen Opera to enthrall Kuwait stage this month By Wendy Clayton KUWAIT: On the occasion of the Radisson Blu’s 30th anniversary, Operations Manager at Radisson Blu hotel, Michael Nielsen hosted a press conference at the Marine Museum. He announced that tw o concerts w ill be held in December, marking the end of the 2010 concert season for the Kuw ait Witold Wnuk, the Director of Kuwait Chambers Philharmonic, elaborated on the up-coming events highlighting that the violin concert was the idea put forward by the ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium, Damein Angelet to mark the first anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. Outstanding violinist Olga Guy will present celebrated works of Belgian violinist Eugene Ysaye, accompanied on piano by Kinga Masternak. Wnuk said it was a historical moment for the Kuwait Chambers Philharmonic as the presentation of the opera Carmen would be the first of its kind for Kuwait, “We are presenting at least 70 percent of the opera making it a two hour opera. We have also created a special stage sets to enhance the atmosphere of the beautiful Al-Hashemi II,” explained Wnuk. “Of course, we cannot present the full opera as it would require a cast of more than 150. So we are taking the four main characters and presenting the best parts.” Wnuk reflected on past presentations held in the AlJahra ballroom where around 100 concerts have been conducted. He said it was sad to know that the ballroom was to be demolished. He added that he was greatly pleased to be using the unique Al-Hashemi II. “We are

Chambers Philharmonic. Nielsen said that it w as only fitting that the anniversary be celebrated w ith the first ever presentation of an opera in Kuw ait. In partnership w ith the Kuw ait Chambers Philharmonic Radisson, tw o concerts w ill be presented - a violin concert on the fourth December follow ed by the presentation of Carmen on Dec 11. “This year also marks tw enty years partnership betw een the Radisson and the KPC,” Nielsen said.

very lucky to have the Al Hashemi II as the unique architecture and natural wood gives the perfect acoustics needed for musical presentations.” Wnuk further elaborated on the long history shared between the Radisson Blu and the KCP saying that they had been working together for twenty years to bring cultural events to the people of Kuwait. The year 2010 has seen many concerts by the KCP with estimated guest numbers of 5,000 people throughout the year. Both Nielsen and Wnuk commented on the growing interest in Kuwait for classical events and music not only from expatriates but also Kuwaitis, “There is a growing interesting especially among the younger gen-

eration,” explained Wnuk. “We have had many groups such as the American University setting study papers for students based upon the classics. This is why we decided to push to present an almost full opera.” Wnuk further explained that season 2011 is already in preparation, with ambassadors cueing up to have the KCP present concerts from their respective countries, “All our concerts generally are held under the patronage of the respective Ambassador from the nation being presented. In the near future we will present concerts from Britain and Poland. Nielsen concluded, “It is rare to see these kinds of events being presented in Kuwait and we at the Radisson Blu are proud to be part of it.”

Ysaye Violin concert celebrating first anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, Saturday, 4th December, 2010 at 8pm. Tickets are priced at : KD 6-Adults, KD 4-students. Georges Bizet’s Carmen, Saturday, 11th December, 2010 at 8 pm. Tickets are priced at : KD 16. Both concerts to be held at the Al Hashemi II Grand Ballroom, Radisson Blu Hotel. Tickets available at Radisson Blu Hotel and Virgin Megastores.

MoH to execute medical towers projects KUWAIT: The Ministry of Health plans to execute the medical towers projects during the coming weeks, beginning with the Amiri hospital. This announcement was made by Sameer AlAsfour, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Services and Maintenance Affairs. He further indicated that private companies have filed two grievances with the Central Tenders Committee, which is being studied by the ministry. Multi-storied buildings will be constructed at the sites of public medical facilities to increase bed capacities, which have been included in the country’s development plan, reported Al-Rai. Separately, a health activist revealed that 85 percent of diabetic men in Kuwait suffer from impotence. Dr Mohammad Al-Otaibi, Head of the Nahdha Medical Center and the Family Medicine Association, made these remarks in a press statement based on a new study. It also reveals that impotence affects five percent of men over the age of 40, 15 to 25 percent over the ages of 50 and 60, and 74 percent over the age of 75.

KUWAIT: Members of the Portes Ouvertes ‘Open Door’ — an organization of Francophone women in Kuwait — paid a visit to the Kuwait Times offices last week. The group of women had many questions about the production of the newspaper ranging from editorial content, advertising, newspaper layout and selection of news. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: A human body spotted floating in the waters around one kilometer away from Green Island was quickly retrieved by Kuwait Fire Services Directorate (KFSD) specialists from the Salmiya Rescue Center yesterday before being transferred for autopsy to determine the individual’s identity and cause of death. — Photo by Hanan Al-Saadoun

Mugging outside Jahra Co-op store

Pollution reduction

By Hanan Al-Saadoun

KUWAIT: Kuwait plans to reject any recommendations made at the UN climate change conference currently taking place in Cancun, Mexico which would oblige oil-producing Gulf states to reduce pollution emission levels. The announcement of this policy was made by the General Manager of Kuwait’s Environmental Public Authority, Dr. Adel AlMadhadi, who indicated that Kuwait’s stance on this issue is clear. He pointed out that the Kuwaiti government has made some effort to curb the levels of pollution produced in the oil sector, adding that these are marginal in comparison to the pollution produced by the major industrial powers.

KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti woman was assaulted and robbed by a mugger outside a Co-op store in Jahra yesterday, with the assailant stealing money from her before fleeing the scene. The woman, who apparently recognized her attacker, immediately reported the assault at the local police station and a hunt is underway for the assailant. Meanwhile, a bedoon (stateless) thief who stole a ring from a jewelers shop in Sharq was quickly caught by passersby. The man had apparently posed as a customer wishing to try the ring on before running out of the door with it still on his finger. The shouts of the shopowner alerted passersby and the thief was quickly apprehended, before police arrived to take him into custody.

Gulf Bank opens its 52nd branch in Farwaniya KUWAIT: Gulf Bank has celebrated the opening of its newest branch located in Farwaniya, extending the Bank’s offer of premium financial services to a new part of the city as part of its continued focus on client service. The Farwaniya Branch will provide local residents with the chance to experience the difference and convenience of banking with Gulf Bank in their area of residence.

The branch opening was attended by the Gulf Bank’s management team. The branch will be open from Sunday to Thursday 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. Gulf Bank now has 52 branches located across Kuwait. Today’s opening is further evidence of the success of Gulf Bank’s strategic approach to offering the best possible customer experience to customers throughout Kuwait, and marks

KUWAIT: Governor of Farwaniya Abdulhameed Al-Hajji cutting the ribbon with Fawzy Al-Thunayan, General Manager of Board Affairs.

a further strengthening of the Gulf Bank offer. For further information on any of Gulf Bank’s products and services and its regular promotions and offers, visit one of Gulf Bank’s conveniently located branches or call the Telebanking service on 1805805. Customers can also log on to, Gulf Bank’s bilingual website, for more information.

KUWAIT: Abdulhameed Al-Hajji in a group picture with the management team of Gulf Bank.

Stabbing in Naeem A bedoon (stateless) man was rushed to Jahra Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) after being critically wounded when he was stabbed in a fight in Naeem. Bomb find Bomb squad officers were quickly at the scene after a sharp-eyed Kuwaiti citizen called the emergency services hotline to report spotting an explosive device in the Abdally area. The device, which is believed to have been left during the Iraqi invasion and occupation of 1990-91, was quickly defused. Home ‘distillery’ Police who raided a building in Ahmadi that had been turned into an illicit distillery by a Nepalese couple recovered 40 barrels of homemade liquor and a number of bottles prepared for sale. The couple were taken into custody.

Municipality staff involved in expired foods scandal KUWAIT: A senior municipality official has revealed that a number of municipality staff face dismissal and legal action after being found to be involved in allowing expired foodstuffs into Kuwait in exchange for bribes. The head of the municipality’s internal investigation department, Abdulkarim Al-Zaid, told Al-Watan that an investigation conducted between the department and the municipality’s legal department had confirmed the involvement of a number of municipality officials in the scam to bring out-of-date and potentially dangerous foodstuffs into the country for sale at local outlets. Al-Zaid was speaking as Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Dr. Fadhil Safar and Minister of Commerce and Industry Ahmad Al-Haroun jointly briefed the weekly cabinet meeting on the measures taken in handling the ongoing crisis over the discovery of large quantities of expired foodstuffs being sold in the country. Abdulkarim said that the municipality employees involved in the illegal actions were facing the appropriate penalties, adding that the companies in question had also been referred to the Public Prosecution Service pending the withdrawal of their licenses. The municipality’s inspection campaign cracking down on the import and

sale of all such expired foodstuffs has so far resulted in the closure of 86 retail outlets, with 2,030 violations of the relevant trading regulations registered to date. Meanwhile, Dr. Safar responded angrily to criticism of his approval for the reopening of a warehouse rented by a cousin of his in Shuwaikh industrial zone which was previously shut down after it was discovered not to have the required license and to be storing illegal foodstuffs. The minister asserted that municipality by-laws don’t include any requirement that warehouses in this particular area be licensed, insisting that the reopening of the facility was entirely legal. MP Mubarak Al-Waalan reacted skeptically to the minister’s statement, claiming that it was typical of Dr. Safar to break the law. The MP indicated that the warehouse in question had been found to be used for illegal purposes on four previous occasions, adding that it belonged to a member of the minister’s family with the initials M.A. Al-Waalan also said that the reason that a previous official report on the confiscation of 65 tons of expired meat from local storage facilities was still under discussion despite a year having passed since it was issued, is to protect some influential local business figures from being adversely affected by its findings.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Father flees Kuwait with own children ‘Kidnap case’ filed KUWAIT: An Arab man kidnapped his children and fled the country following a dispute with his wife, reported AlWatan. Upon returning home in Jahra, the wife discovered that her husband and two children were missing. When she failed to find them, the woman informed authorities and learned that her husband left the country with her children. An investigation revealed the man’s sister pretended to be his wife so that he could get permission to leave the country with his children because their passports were registered to his wife. Pedestrian killed An Asian woman was killed in Bayan after she was struck by a speeding car while trying to cross the road, reported AlQabas. Paramedics responded to the incident and pronounced her dead upon arriving to the scene. The driver was taken into custody by authorities for questioning.

Khaitan students visit Dar Alghanim KUWAIT: Under the Yusuf A Alghanim and Sons group, Kuwait’s new landmark, Dar Alghanim, a complete retail park of showrooms filled with the latest home decoration and building products recently opened its doors to an educational tour for the Boys Secondary School —Abraq Khaitan to provide an entertaining and academically beneficial trip. The Abraq Khaitan school tour was led by Dar Alghanim representatives that educated them on the company as a whole, the history and purpose of its existence and the diverse products each division houses under one roof. The tour was conducted in an effort to raise awareness and impart knowledge about a fast growing industry that caters to people’s different home needs that range from chil-

dren’s bedroom and batehroom accessories, interior decor, construction and building materials, and so on. The program also included learning and experiencing the procedures involved in the complete home building process at Afkar that captures a customer’s vision of the perfect home to its final creation. “This initiative falls in line with our mission to support the educational sector as we believe this to be a vital corporate social responsibility towards training and equipping young minds with practical knowledge that exceeds the school compounds. We hope through this tour, the children were able to gain a better understanding and insight into the corporate world of one of the leading and most reputed companies in

Kuwait,” said Gary Hatcher, Director of Dar Alghanim. Dar Alghanim comprising of four brands; Home and Garden - a home improvement superstore with a huge range of products for indoors and outdoors of any home, Reflections - Kuwait’s most stylish bathroom showroom, Alghanim Building Center - a destination for professionals and DIY patrons in search for building materials, tools for the completion of any building or construction project and AFKAR - a totally unique project center that offers homeowners and consultants complete project management for building everything from a villa to a tower block by providing both structural and interior design, a full selection of products from AC to sofas, and a complete construction and installation ser-

vice that is all supported by the name you can trust Alghanim. “We admire the student’s enthusiasm and were delighted to hear their fresh perspectives about Dar Alghanim as well. The objective of this visit was to enlighten the youth and provide guidance through the complex nature of home building and furnishing in a simpler and more enjoyable manner,” added Jane D’Mello, Marketing Manager of Dar Alghanim. Towards the end of the tour, students were captivated by the theater demo room that is said to revolutionize home movie viewing experience for all in the future. They were also overjoyed when they received souvenirs to take home as souvenirs to remind them of the fruitful visit to Dar Alghanim.

Sour Street fire Firefighters responded to an incident on Sour Street when a fire occurred inside a money transportation vehicle, reported Al-Watan. The firefighters were able to extinguish the fire before the money or the four workers inside the car could be injured. An investigation revealed that an electric short circuit caused the fire. Police secured the location so that the money could be transferred to another money transportation vehicle.

Citizen mugged A citizen told police that he was mugged by five people in Shuwaikh after they crashed into his car intentionally. The incident occurred as he was driving though the area and forced to stop after getting into a minor accident. He was then attacked by five people who stole his wallet at knifepoint. A case was opened. Missing girl found A teenage girl reported missing by her family was found hiding inside her boyfriend’s house, reported Al-Watan. The case was opened when an Arab man living in Salaam filed a missing person’s case with authorities when his 18-year-old daughter went missing. Police summoned a person whose cell phone number was found repeatedly in the girl’s phone record. When questioned, the young man denied knowing where the girl was but officials

were able to find the girl inside his home. He was referred to the proper authorities. Falling accident A 16-year-old Iranian teenager sustained several fractures when he fell at a construction site in Regaei, reported AlWatan. The 16-year-old fell to the ground as he was cleaning off the second floor. Paramedics responded to the emergency and admitted the youth to Sabah Hospital’s intensive care unit. School brawl A school teacher was arrested for attacking the administrator of an elementary school she used to work at, reported AlWatan. The incident occurred at an Ahmadi educational zone school when a teacher decided to take revenge against the school’s headmistress who transferred her to another school. Staff members inter-

vened to stop the fight and police responded to the incident. The administrator was brought to a nearby hospital and the teacher was referred to the proper authorities. Farwaniya crackdown Police arrested 99 residents for violating residency laws and for committing various other violations in Farwaniya and Jeleeb Al-Shuyiukh, reported AlRai. The detainees were referred to the proper authorities. Unwanted messages A female citizen filed a case with Ahmadi police after she received several pornographic MMS messages from an unknown sender, reported AlAnba. An investigation revealed that the phone belonged to an Asian man who was deported from the country eight months ago. A case was opened.

kuwait digest

Wasta power is indispensable By Saud Al-Samaka


here are seven things that are impossible to obtain in Kuwait without the power of ‘wasta.’ These are: passing a driving test, obtaining approval to receive treatment abroad, obtaining citizenship, receiving a scholarship, being promoted to a senior post, obtaining employment after obtaining a university degree illegally, as well as passing an MOT test for a vehicle that lacks necessary safety conditions.

With the spread of ‘wasta,’ it is not surprising that rotten food is being smuggled into the local market. The mishap at the Mishref sewage treatment plant, continuous power outages, as well as recent Ahmadi gas leak are fall outs of this ‘power brokering.’ Recently, officials from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry as well as the Kuwait Municipality issued boastful statements that were released to the media - the discoveries of tons of food items that are unsuitable for human consumption. The reality is that what has

been uncovered so far is nothing compared to the practices carried out by greedy traders in light of the lack of proper supervision. Nevertheless, none of these officials would have remained in their positions in the first place, had the government been serious about protecting the safety of citizens. What took these bodies so long as to act only after the problem escalated to alarming levels? This issue requires a thorough investigation into the activities of the personnel that occupy supervisory posts. — A l - Q a b a s



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

East Sudan pins hopes on Kuwait donor forum Resources-rich but forgotten KHARTOUM: Rich in natural resources but neglected by the international community, eastern Sudan hopes to reap billions of dollars for its development at a donor conference opening today in Kuwait City. East Sudan, an area the size of Italy and divided into the three states of Kassala, Al-Qadarif and Red Sea, is blessed with huge gold, oil and gas resources as well as vast uncultivated arable land. And yet there is rampant poverty among the region’s five million inhabitants, most of whom live on less that two dollars a day, and mortality and malnutrition rates run high among children.

kuwait digest

How long will it take? By Mubarak Al-Hajri


hese days, more citizens are calling for the resignation of the Cabinet citing failure to counter the crises or resolve the recent gas leak issue in Al-Ahmadi; a problem that is rooted in the oil sector’s internal strife, and the Kuwait Oil Company’s inability to plug the leak. This incident has exposed the lack of awareness and the KOC officials’ experiences. They are struggling to find the reasons behind the leaks, let alone trying to stop it.

The KOC officials issue press releases claiming that that they exercise control over the situation. Had this incident taken place in any other country, those officials would have resigned from their posts. But the situation is different in Kuwait, in light of the lack of accountability and proper action from the minister that encourage violations to spread across the vital oil sector. These claims are not just mere speculations, but facts that have been documented by the Audit Bureau reports. How much longer will it be,

before officials take responsibility and resign? The Cabinet’s ‘cool’ approach toward ousting incompetent ministers, has raised many questions. People wonder why such procedures like a Cabinet reshuffle are not taken, if the government is true to its word. Reform can never be achieved as long as administrative and financial corruption is ongoing at numerous ministries and governmental bodies. These happened since ministers in charge failed to tighten their grip on offenders. — Al-Rai

Learning difficulties children get support KUWAIT: Undersecretary of Kuwait’s Ministry of Education Tamader AlSudairawi said yesterday her ministry attaches great importance to care for children with learning difficulties. “The ministry follows an effective mechanism for such care in coordination with the local specialized agencies,” AlSudairawi told reporters on the sidelines of a workshop on “the role of sources room in tackling learning difficulties the de facto and targeted

state.” The workshop is organized by the research and development division of the ministry as part of the country’s development plan for 2010-2011 in the presence of Assistant Undersecretary for Educational Research and Curriculums sector Maryam Al-Wutaid and a number of experts. “The sources rooms at schools play an essential role in polishing the skills of schoolchildren at large and children with learning difficul-

ties in particular,” AlSudairawi pointed out. On her part, Al-Wutaid highlighted the importance of working out controls for the sources rooms to prevent misuse the rooms. She praised the ongoing cooperation between the ministry on one hand and the specialized agencies such as Center for Child Evaluation and Teaching (CCET) and Kuwait Dyslexia Association (KDA) on the other. “Both sides seek to detect

the needs of children who have a difficulty with school work and provide such group of schoolchildren with remedial teaching inside Kuwait,” she pointed out. The workshop was also attended by Director of the Ministry’s Research and Development Division Dr Abdulhamid Al-Sarraf and Director of the Curriculum Development Division Dr Saud Al-Harbi as well as a number of education experts. — KUNA

But the east of Sudan has seen the world direct its attention to other parts of Africa’s largest nation-to war-ravaged Darfur in the west and to southern Sudan. “And yet some humanitarian indicators for eastern Sudan are even worse than those of Darfur,” said an aid worker, on condition of anonymity. Now it hopes to grab the world’s attention at the December 1-2 meeting, to be attended by more than 50 countries as well as organisations including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Bank and Islamic Development Bank. “The region is in dire need of investment in infrastructure, human capital, and preservation of peace through new development,” Claudio Caldarone, the UNDP country director for Sudan said. “It is a region with high potential for growth and development ... It has the only access in Sudan to the sea, it has the second best preserved coral reef in the world. “There are also innumerable natural resources ... (including) oil, gas, gold, marble and there is also... uncultivated arable land,” Caldarone said. The state-run Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) is organising the conference in cooperation with a large number of regional and international institutions. Mustafa Osman Ismail, an advisor to Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, has said 181 projects costing $4.2 billion would be discussed at the conference. The projects focus on infrastructure, energy, water and agriculture in poor but strategically important east Sudan, Ismail said in a statement released by the organisers ahead of the conference. Caldarone agreed the region needs around four billion dollars for development. The east of Sudan was the scene of a decade-long rebellion by ethnic minority groups against the central government in Khartoum that ended with a 2006 peace deal. The Beja Congress, named after the region’s largest ethnic minority, and the Free Lions of the Rashidiya Arab tribe took up arms against Khartoum in 1994, protesting of an unfair distribution of wealth between Sudan’s regions. The 2006 peace deal between Khartoum and their Eastern Front coalition promised government jobs and 600 million dollars for development over five years. An East Sudan Reconstruction and Development Fund was established but little has been achieved, prompting increasing bitterness among the region’s inhabitants. According to UNDP figures, 58 per-

KHARTOUM: A picture dated Feb 18, 2010 shows a young girl carrying plastic jugs to fill up with water at the Shegerab refugee camp in the Kassala State, eastern Sudan. Rich in natural resources but neglected by the international community, eastern Sudan hopes to reap billions of dollars for its development at a donor conference opening today in Kuwait City. — AFP

KHARTOUM: UN peacekeepers secure an area as Qatari Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah Al-Mahmud, whose country has been hosting for months peace talks between the Khartoum government and Darfur rebel groups, and United Nations-African Union chief mediator in Darfur Djibril Bassole, meet with members of the civil society during a visit to Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state yesterday. — AFP cent of the population in the Red Sea state and 50 percent of those in AlQadarif live below the national poverty line, surviving on 50 dollars per person a month. UN figures also show that 33 percent of children under the age of five in Al-Qadarif were “moderately or severely” underweight while 61 percent of the population in Kassala state do not have access to adequate drinking

water.With Sudan gearing up for an independence referendum for the south in January, easterners fear the donor conference will fail to raise funds for their underdeveloped region. “The timing is not right because the country is heading for a referendum and investors don’t like to invest during risk periods,” said Abu Fatma Ahmed Unur, an expert on east Sudan. — AFP

British-Kuwaiti panel honors Mideast writers

Baron Morris delivers a speech.

Baron Morris is welcomed during the event.

LONDON: The BritishKuwaiti friendship committee on Monday evening held its annual awards ceremony for the winners of the Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah charitable trust’s competition to select the year’s best books from the Middle East. Kuwait’s Ambassador to Britain, Khalid Al-Duwaisan, who is also Dean of the Foreign Diplomatic Corps in London, said in a speech delivered at the event that the competition had succeeded in strengthening the relations between the two countries, adding that British academic and cultural bodies in Britain look forward to the annual competition which has now been running for 12 years. Ambassador Al-Duwaisan noted that the ceremony had been held at a number of distinguished British universities in previous years, but this year it had been decided that it should take place at the ambassadorial residence. The ceremony was attended by Arab and other ambassadors and prominent acade-

mics, politicians, and media figures. In his own address, the representative of the fund, Sheikh Mubarak Abdullah Al-Sabah, announced that the University of Cambridge would be supervising next year’s competition. A total of 48 writers took part in this year’s competition, submitting works on subjects as varied as the arts, antiquities, religion, philosophy, international law, history, and politics in the Middle East. The judging panel included prominent British academics specializing in Middle East studies. The first two winning books focus on the politics and history of Iran, and the third concerns the role of the Quran in enlightening western Europe, with each of the three winner receiving a prize of £3,000 (KD1,311). Al-Duwaisan heads the Kuwaiti team on the committee, while the British team is headed by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles. — KUNA

Spoiled spices recovered The attendees stand before the start of the event.

Imtiaz’s senior officials are seen during the event.

Baron Morris attends dinner banquet KUWAIT: A member of the British House of Lords Baron Morris was recently invited to a dinner banquet that was hosted by AlImtiaz Investment Group in London. It had recently organized its first strategic forum. During the event, Baron Morris acknowledged

the profound nature of the relations between Kuwait and the United Kingdom, as well as the role played by Kuwait’s ambassador in London Khalid Al-Duwaisan. Moreover, Baron Morris also mentioned the ‘leading example of

successful Islamic companies that operate in London,’ while addressing the relationship with Barwa Capital; one of Al-Imtiaz’s affiliated firms. She also indicated that she plans to visit Kuwait along with Barwa Capital CEO Dr Mohammad Abdulhaqq.

KUWAIT: Municipality inspectors have discovered more expired food items in the country, with the recent finding of spoiled spices at a meat products factory in Subhan. Officials members from Mubarak Al-Kabeer’s Municipality branch carried out a raid in the factory.

At least 2.5 tons of materials were seized, said team leader Abdullah Al-Meia, reported Al-Qabas. Moreover, the team took samples from the meat supplies in the factory, and sent them to laboratories to be tested. Meanwhile, the spoiled spices have been disposed.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Israel blocks two UN Gaza schools, citing Hamas threat GAZA CITY: UN plans to address Gaza’s schooling shortage have hit a wall, with Israel banning the construction of two new schools on a site it says could be targeted in strikes on Hamas. The two schools at the centre of the dispute between the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and Israeli authorities are part of the agency’s plans for 12 new schools in the Gaza Strip. At the moment, little more than mounds of sand and some prefabricated building materials mark the site where UNRWA wants to put the new facilities.

The plot was once the location of the preventative security headquarters, which fell into the hands of Hamas fighters after they routed the rival Fatah faction in bloody internecine fighting in June 2007. Little over a year later, the entire building was reduced to rubble when Israeli forces bombed it during Operation Cast Lead, which lasted from late December 2008 to January 2009. Now, a lone guard watches over the precious building materials that UNRWA, which cares for Palestinian refugees, has stacked at the site. “We

saw an opportunity for building on the site of a security installation two civilian schools to educate thousands of children,” UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness told AFP. The agency has launched a series of projects since Israel announced it would ease a blockade on the Gaza Strip it imposed in 2006, after the kidnap of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by Gaza militants. Israel tightened the blockade in 2007, after Hamas routed Fatah from Gaza, but bowed to international pressure after a May 2010 raid on aid ships attempting to break the siege, agreeing to loosen the restrictions.

Israel agreed to allow the import of construction materials for projects supervised by the international community, allowing UNRWA to start addressing Gaza’s school shortage. The agency already accommodates over 200,000 students in Gaza, 90 percent of them studying in schools that run double shifts to expand access. But with building material trickling into Gaza and construction running at a slow pace, UNRWA had to turn away some 40,000 schoolchildren at the start of the school year in September. Gunness said the two new facilities

could accommodate some 4,000 children in a district where there are no UNRWA schools, but in October Israel said the construction could not proceed because of Hamas activity in the area. “In the list of the 12 schools that they gave us, we allowed all the schools and only two of them were close to a Hamas implantation,” said Major Guy Inbar, spokesman for the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). “We have information that there is still activity of Hamas there in that place and because we don’t

want the Hamas later on to use the schools and the children as human shields... that’s why we didn’t allow them to build,” Inbar told AFP. During the Gaza war, Israel and Hamas accused each other of using civilians as human shields. Residential buildings, some still blackened and pockmarked by the impact of the blast that destroyed the former security headquarters, surround the site. Several bearded men clear debris from the ground of a grey building damaged by the attack, while children file out of a nearby red-brick government school. A few dozen

metres (yards) away lies Al Quds hospital, where France is upgrading the emergency services unit, with Israeli permission. But despite the civilian buildings the surround the site, Inbar said any school there would be at risk. “If there is Hamas activity, they can shoot rockets from there and then when we will attack in response to their shooting, we could hurt the people there,” he said. In January 2009, an Israeli strike next to an UNRWA school in the northern Gaza Strip killed 43 people, in one of the bloodiest episodes in the three-week war. —AFP

Heavy rain, floods kill 30 in Morocco 24 killed in bus crash RABAT: At least 30 people have been killed in Morocco after heavy rain and floods, official sources said yesterday. The official MAP news agency said 24 people died when a bus carrying them was swept away by a flooding river in

ARBIL: An Iraqi Christian woman waits with others outside the French Consulate in the northern Iraqi Kurdish city of Arbil, . —AFP

Iraq foils plot to bomb French embassy in Baghdad BAGHDAD: Iraqi security forces foiled a plot to bomb the French embassy in Baghdad after arresting 12 suspected al Qaeda members in connection with an attack on a Christian church, security officials said yesterday. The al Qaeda cell responsible for the Oct 31 church assault, which ended with 52 hostages and police killed, intended to prepare a car bomb for an attack on the embassy, which is located in Baghdad’s Karrada district, officials said. In April, suicide bombers launched coordinated car bomb attacks on the Iranian, Egyptian and German embassies in the capital, killing up to 40 people and wounding more than 200. Iraqi security forces said on Saturday they had arrested al Qaeda’s Baghdad leader and 11 other members of the Islamist militant group for involvement in the attack on the Our Lady of Salvation cathedral. Militants took more than

100 Christian hostages during Sunday mass. “The reason for targeting the embassy was because the French embassy is very active ... and there is investment activity among French companies in the whole country,” a senior Iraqi security official said. France has been on high alert due to tensions over the presence of its forces in Afghanistan and the country’s ban on full-length Islamic veils. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, a group of mostly Algerianborn militants, has carried out small-scale attacks including the recent abduction of seven foreigners, five of them French, in Niger. When they announced the arrest of the suspects in the church attack, Iraqi authorities said they had seized 6 1/2 tonnes of explosives intended for use against a government ministry, hotels and the Christian community. —Reuters

Iran agrees to discuss its nuclear program TEHRAN: Hardening its position ahead of next week’s nuclear talks with the world powers, Iran’s president vowed yesterday it would not make “one iota” of concessions about its nuclear rights. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday that any kind of breakthrough could only be expected only if the new talks are held under “equal” conditions and that Iran’s rights are respected. “If you want results from the talks, you must put aside the devil’s temper and sit together under equal conditions on the basis of justice and respect ...

and talk about various economic and nuclear fields, reach a deal and do joint work,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech broadcast live on state TV. The European Union said Iran agreed to talks next week in Geneva and its top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili will meet with EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton on Dec. 6 and 7. Her office said she will act “on behalf” of the US, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany, six nations representing the international community in its standoff over Iran’s nuclear

program. Officials from the six nations are expected to attend the Geneva talks. The meeting was set after several weeks of proposals and counterproposals about a suitable venue and will be the first talks in a year after negotiations bogged down. Addressing a crowd in Sari, north Iran, Ahmadinejad was quick to say that Iran wouldn’t negotiate over its rights enshrined in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. As an NPT member state, Iran says it has every right to enrich uranium to produce nuclear fuel. —AP

A young girl drowned on Tuesday in Tiflet, east of Rabat, when she was swept away while trying to cross a bridge. In the north, one man drowned and rescue services were looking for seven other people swept away by a river in flood. In Casablanca, schools were ordered to shut on Tuesday after Morocco’s biggest city and business centre received a record 18 cm of rain overnight. The head of Morocco’s state-run weather service, Abdellah Masqat, told 2M television the heavy rain would continue until tomorrow. News footage from state television station Al-Maghribia showed suburbs of Casablanca submerged. Flag carrier Royal Air Maroc said flights were disrupted from the country’s main airport in Casablanca because flooding on highways and railway tracks prevented some passengers reaching the airport. In the capital Rabat, people formed long queues in front of a rare working ATM machine after communication systems of some banks were put out of action. “The lines are down because of the rain. We can’t process any operation for the moment,” said an employee at a branch of Attijariwafa Bank in downtown Rabat. In another development, a Moroccan bus fell into a river in heavy rains yesterday, killing 24 people, the North African nation’s official news agency said. The crash occurred between the towns of Mohammedia and Bouznika on the country’s Atlantic coast, the MAP news agency said. Search operations continued, but it was not immediately clear if any people were missing. Moroccan King Mohammed VI sent condolences to the victims families’ and said he would pay for the hospitalization of the injured and burials for those killed, MAP said. The agency said the death toll was provided by civil defense officials. — Agencies

From the Bubble to the Trouble: Israel’s divide

the Atlantic coastal town of Bouznika, south of the capital Rabat. Four people, including three from the same family, died when heavy rain brought down their homes near the central city of Khenifra and in Sale, near Rabat, MAP said.

BOUZNIKA: People look at a bus that plunged off a road into a ravine during heavy rain in Bouznika, near Rabat yesterday. At least 18 passengers died. — AFP

WikiLeaks: Netanyahu supports land swaps JERUSALEM: A confidential diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supports the notion of land swaps with the Palestinians. But an Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to disclose the contents of a confidential conversation, said yesterday that Netanyahu did not discuss land swaps. Netanyahu has been very careful to keep his positions on

Israel’s future borders very close to the vest. The Feb 26, 2009 cable, dated two weeks after the Israeli leader was elected, says “Netanyahu expressed support for the concept of land swaps, and emphasized that he did not want to govern the West Bank and Gaza but rather to stop attacks from being launched from there.” This sentence was contained in the cable summary but is not amplified in the section of the report that refers to peacemaking

with the Palestinians. “The prime minister never raised the issue of land swaps and the telegram does not quote him as saying so,” the official who spoke on condition of anonymity said. “The elaborated part of the conversation shows that that in fact is the case.” US Embassy spokesman Kurt Hoyer would not comment on the cable. He said the diplomat who signed off on it, Luis G. Moreno, had left Israel and could not immediately be

reached. Previous Israeli governments and the Palestinians have expressed support for the concept of trading West Bank land where Jewish settlements stand for Israeli territory. Netanyahu has not publicly voiced his opinion on this matter, though his foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, favors redrawing Israel’s borders to include settlements and exclude areas with large Arab populations. — AP

Liberalism, prosperity enliven Israel’s coastal metropolis TEL AVIV: It takes just 45 minutes to drive from the clogged freeways and gleaming office towers of Tel Aviv to the roadblocks and watchtowers of the West Bank. The humid metropolis of the coast, where most Israelis prefer to live, seems a world away from the dry air of Jerusalem and tensions of the occupied Palestinian territory, where the inescapable choices facing the nation await resolution. The travel guide Lonely Planet this month rated Tel Aviv 3rd in the Top 10 world cities worth visiting, after New York and Tangier. LP praised its relaxed liberalism, hedonistic beach culture and international flavor. The breezy, secular life in what Israelis call “The Bubble” by the Mediterranean Sea is so far divorced from the windswept outposts of armed settlers who have planted themselves among the Palestinians that the country’s soul seems split in two. On the coast, there are gays walking pedigree dogs, clubs throbbing on the Sabbath, leggy

girls in skimpy minis, old guys with pony tails, high-toned places and greasy little joints. In Jerusalem, ultra-religious Jews with antiquated black dress and a ready hostility to Sabbath violators are a more common sight. Out in the stony hills of what religious Jews call “Judea and Samaria”, guards watch at fences and steel gates. But Israel can’t have two futures. If it wants peace, it has to give up the land. If it keeps the land, peace will not come. Whatever the choice, all Israelis will share its consequences. LOYALTY OATH With an economy growing faster than Germany, a burgeoning high-tech sector and wage levels that put it this year into the OECD club of Western market democracies, Israel is a wealthy little country with strong, knowledge-based economic prospects. For a majority, it seems, the Jewish homeland is a healthy success and though threats persist, it offers a good future. For a minority, however, the home-

land will not be complete until the Biblical lands are Israel’s as well. The Palestinians must either accept it and be absorbed, or move out. A March poll by Hebrew University in Jerusalem showed 71 percent of Israelis supported a 2-state solution and 60 percent backed dismantling most settlements under such a deal. Among settlers, however, 52 percent opposed a 2-state treaty and 69 percent opposed dismantling settlements. Mixed with religious imperatives is an ultranationalist sentiment, driven by the Israel Our Home party of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who does not consider making peace with the Palestinians to be Israel’s most pressing issue. He recently persuaded Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to endorse the idea of a “loyalty oath to the Jewish state”, which has fanned the simmering resentment of the Arab Israelis who make up 20 percent of the population of some 7.5 million. Its “love-it-or-leave-it” message

seems plain enough. This month, rabbis in the city of Safed urged Jews not to rent flats to Arab Israeli students. A Safed Holocaust survivor who dared to do so was vilified. A court ruling this month permitted an apartment block to be built in Jaffa exclusively for religious Israeli Jews, where Arabs would be unwelcome. Meanwhile, privileges for the ultra-religious, whose small parties can make or break Israeli coalitions, provoked street protests by students opposed to giving grants to Torah students who may never work for a livinga prospect Israeli economists consider alarming, as their numbers grow. LAST EXIT Stripped of its many nuances, Israel seems to face a choice between a future as a secular democracy building a stable place in a tough neighborhood, or a nationalist quasi-theocracy betting on territorial expansion, with God on its side. Security is a dominating fact of Israeli life, even in The Bubble. —Reuters

TEL AVIV: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the media in Tel Aviv, Israel, Monday. —AP



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Medvedev warns West of arms race Either work with Russia or face the consequences: Russia prez MOSCOW: President Dmitry Medvedev warned yesterday that failure by Russia and the West to agree on a new missile shield for Europe could spark an arms race that would see Moscow deploy new weapons

ABIDJAN: Ivory Coast soldiers guard at the entry to a school where hundreds of election workers gathered to receive $4 each as part of their payment for working in polling stations, at a school in the Yopougon neighborhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast on Monday. — AFP

Ivory Coast fears fresh violence amid vote results ABIDJAN: Fears of fresh violence yesterday overshadowed first results from Ivory Coast’s landmark leadership election, with President Laurent Gbagbo threatening to annul votes across a huge swathe of the country. The election aims to end a decade of instability in the west African country, but tension ran high in the aftermath of Sunday’s vote, marred by allegations of cheating and violence that has killed seven people. In an apparent setback for the announcement of results, witnesses said journalists were thrown out of the Ivory Coast electoral authorities’ headquarters yesterday. The commission had said partial results from mainland voting stations would be announced from yesterdfay morning after first results from overseas stations were read out on the state channel RTI Monday. But journalists were made to leave the headquarters amid heavy security and the RTI crew which was to broadcast the results dismantled its equipment and left, reporters at the scene said. The tone sharpened meanwhile between the camps of Gbagbo and his rival candidate Alassane Ouattara. Both had promised to accept the outcome, but after charges of voting abuses Gbagbo’s spokesman Pascal Affi N’Guessan said his camp had applied to the electoral commis-

sion to have votes in the rebelheld north annulled. “We reserve the right to act so that elections in these zones... be annulled because they did not respect the norms of a transparent election,” he told reporters. The United Nations mission insisted the vote had been conducted democratically overall despite isolated abuses, but each side accused the other of irregularities. The electoral commission said late Monday that with a few thousand overseas ballots counted, 60 percent had voted for challenger Ouattara and 40 percent for Gbagbo. Calls for calm multiplied amid fears that violence could escalate. “We have gone from verbal aggression to physical violence and it seems the worst is yet to come,” warned a grouping of Christian and Muslim leaders in a statement on Monday. The head of the UN mission in Ivory Coast, Choi Young-jin, said three people were killed on Sunday, raising an earlier government toll and bringing to seven the number reported dead in a week of violence. However “despite incidents, which were sometimes violent, in the west and north of the country, the second round of the election was generally conducted in a democratic climate,” Choi told a news conference. The rival candidates however

traded accusations of widespread abuses. Ouattara’s RDR party said voters had been intimidated by security forces and barred from voting and alleged voting papers had been tampered with. Gbagbo’s side meanwhile said voting in the northern half of the country was “not transparent overall” and alleged northern New Forces rebels had “ransacked polling stations” in several towns. The electoral commission said Monday that turnout for the second round was about 70 percent, down from 83 percent in last month’s first round. It is legally obliged to announce a winner by today. The election, postponed six times in five years, aimed to stabilise what was once west Africa’s most prosperous country, in crisis following a 1999 coup and a 2002 civil war that split Ivory Coast in half between north and south. The vote was a close-fought bout between Gbagbo, 65, a southern Christian who has held on to power since his term expired in 2005, and Ouattara, 68, from the largely Muslim north. “According to figures in our possession, Laurent Gbagbo cannot lose this election,” N’Guessan told a news conference Monday. A lawyer for Ouattara’s party, Chrysostome Blessy, insisted on Sunday that Gbagbo “cannot win, even by cheating.” — AFP

Russian president calls for more babies in back-to-basics address MOSCOW: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev yesterday hailed growing economic stability in an address to the nation and urged families to have three or more children to avert a demographic crisis. Speaking before the two houses of parliament, Medvedev said he decided to make children the central theme of his address, calling investment in young people “the most noble, intelligent and secure investment possible.” The address, which some had expected would mark a political departure, called for rewards for large families and investment in children in rhetoric that some observers compared to the Soviet era. Medvedev called the demographic situation a threat to the nation and backed a “radical increase of families with three or more children.” In a quirky argument, he said that national heroes including the first man in space, Yury Gagarin, and writer Anton Chekhov were the third children in their families. Large families should be eligible for free plots of land for building a house and tax cuts, he said. Although Russia’s birth rate has increased by 21 percent since 2005, the country is now facing the consequences of a demographic collapse during the 1990s, as the low number of children born in those years now reach adulthood. Medvedev focused on policy details, pledging up to 100 billion rubles (3.19 billion dollars) to modernise children’s hospitals and clinics over

the next two years. “We should not be ashamed of the country that we pass on to our children and grandchildren,” Medvedev said. His call for childfriendly policies earned praise from Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov, who told reporters: “That is the Soviet approach. Children should be a privileged class.” Medvedev hailed greater economic stability and lower unemployment, saying his government had helped the nation recover from the global financial crisis, while vowing to bring down inflation and achieve stronger growth, “We have managed to stabilise the economy,” Medvedev said, predicting four-percent growth for the year. Medvedev said that Russia currently had five million unemployed workers, two million fewer than at the peak of the crisis, in a fall that he called a significant achievement. And he promised to bring down inflation, which is expected to reach about nine percent in 2010, to under five percent within the next three years. Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said the president’s priorities would require some juggling of the budget, however. “The country is living with a deficit,” he said, quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency. “We’ll need to redirect spending from other fields.” Medvedev used the speech to tackle corruption, which was one of the key topics of his 2008 presidential campaign. But he conceded that the problem is still rampant. — AFP

MOSCOW: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill speak during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia yesterday. — AP

But he diverged briefly into foreign affairs to present the West with a choice: either work with Russia on missile defences or face the consequences. “In the coming 10 years, we are facing the following alternative,” said Medvedev in nationally-televised remarks. “Either we agree on anti-missile defence and create full-fledged, joint cooperation, or-if we fail to reach constructive cooperation — (we will face) a new round of the arms race,” Medvedev said. “And then we will have to make a decision on deploying new strike forces.” Russia and NATO agreed in Lisbon this month to look into ways in which the two could work together on a new continental shield that the Kremlin has spent years resisting. Medvedev has demanded that Russia be handed an equal say in the system’s operations-a request that would require a never-before seen degree of military cooperation and intelligence sharing. The two sides have also failed to agree on a list of countries that actually pose a threat. The United States singles out Iran and North Korea while Russia sees the two as relatively harmless for the years to come. There have been conflicting reports about whether Russia has offered a formal joint cooperation plan to the 28member Alliance. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Medvedev suggested that Russia take responsibility for shooting down missiles that fly over its zone of responsibility in the east and that NATO focus on the opposite direciton. This “sectoral missile defence” approach was mentioned briefly by Medvedev during his Lisbon addressalthough neither he nor other Russian officials spelled out how this system would work. NATO gave no immediate response to the reported offer and Russian officials later said that no formal proposal had been made. Russia periodically threatens to base missiles in former Soviet territories during periods of disagreement or particular sensitivity with the West. Its last threat to deploy short-range missile on NATO’s doorstep near Poland came in February when the United States was still drafting its missile defence approach. But nothing came of that warning and some analysts suggest that Medvedev’s message was meant as much for domestic consumption as it was for NATO command in Brussels. “This is an attempt to show the nation that he is a capable leader who makes his own decisions-decisions that are no worse or even better than those made by (Prime Minister Vladimir) Putin,” said Strategic Assessment Institute head Alexander Konovalov. The Russian president has been hampered by persistent speculation that Putin wields the real power in Russia and that the prime minister was likely to retake his old Kremlin seat once Medveved’s term expires in 2012. But others said Medvedev’s comments masked a serious Russian concern: that the shield could one day be transformed into an offensive system that rains down missiles and even nuclear bombs. “Medvedev wants a legallybinding agreement that says that the European interceptors will never be aimed at Russia,” said respected independent military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer. He said that Russia is concerned that NATO could develop this capability by about 2025 — too soon for Moscow to develop any meaningful response. “These comments about a new arms race are just nonsense,” agreed Konovalov. “Russia simply does not have the funds to create new weapons.” — AFP

abroad. The stark warning from a president who has developed a history of adopting a softer Western policy came during a broad state-of-nation address that Medvedev primarily devoted to domestic issues.

ROME: Demonstrators march in on Rome’s Piazza Venezia, trying to reach the Italian Chamber of Deputies to protest against the vote on an education reform yesterday. Riot police blocked all access to the center of Rome to prevent demonstrators to reach Montecitorio, the lower house of the Italian parliament. — AFP

Nigeria spending raises concern ABUJA: Nigeria expects its budget deficit to widen to 6.1 percent of GDP this year, more than double the level set under a fiscal responsibility act three years ago, as government spending rises ahead of elections next April. Revenue shortfalls from the oil and gas sector, unexpected wage increases, and election costs will contribute to the widening deficit, Finance Minister Olusegun Aganga said in an annual briefing on subSaharan Africa’s second biggest economy. Government revenue is projected at 3.18 trillion naira ($20 billion) with expenditure expected to be 5.16 trillion, Aganga said in the review, released on Monday. Analysts have expressed concern about the state of public finances in Africa’s most populous nation as presidential, parliamentary and state governorship elections approach. Recurring expenditure accounts for more than half of the country’s overall spending, meaning it is paying more to keep government running than it is investing in badlyneeded infrastructure and other capital projects. Government borrowing has risen

sharply, increasing by more than 50 percent since the start of the year, compared to private sector credit growth of just three percent over the same period. The government has said it will also issue bonds to pay workers at former state telecoms company Nitel and to fund part of the electoral commission’s budget, further increasing domestic debt. Still, the head of the debt management office has pointed to a debt-to-GDP ratio of 16 percent that is expected to remain stable next year, depending on the rate of economic growth, suggesting Nigeria could easily raise more debt if needed. But authorities have also spent billions of dollars of oil savings since the start of the year alone, and seen foreign exchange reserves fall 20 percent year on year by mid-November to $34 billion. Ratings agency Fitch last month cited those factors when it cut its sovereign credit outlook for Nigeria to negative from stable. The excess crude account (ECA), into which Nigeria saves revenues above a

EU border guards: Illegal crossings drop ATHENS: The European Union’s border agency said yesterday it has seen a significant drop in the number of illegal immigrants crossing into the EU from Greece’s northeastern land border with Turkey since it deployed the first-ever rapid border intervention teams last month. Greece, the EU’s busiest transit point for illegal immigrants entering the 27-nation bloc, accounts for 90 percent of the EU’s detected illegal border crossings. Greek authorities called on the EU for emergency help to deal with the immigration crisis along the northeastern border with Turkey, leading to a Frontex deployment of 205 officers from 26 member states in early November. Most are helping patrol a 12.5 kilometer (7.5 mile) stretch, the only part where the GreekTurkish border is along land rather than the sea or the Evros River. Earlier this year, the area near the town of Orestiada saw some 250-300 people illegally cross the border each day, and Greek authorities said they were unable to cope with the sheer numbers. Since the Frontex deployment, that number has dropped by about 44 percent to about 140 people a day, said Frontex Deputy Executive Director Gil Arias Fernandez. However, he noted that while the increased border patrols could be consid-

ered a deterrent, the fall could also be due to other issues such as colder weather. “It is too early to talk about the impact of the operation,” he said, but added that the decrease “is nevertheless significant.” From January to the end of October, Greece reported a total of 75,200 illegal border crossings, with about 30,700 of those across the Turkish land border, Fernandez said. One of the main factors contributing to the immigration crisis in Greece was “the little, not to say the lack, of cooperation from the Turkish side,” he said, as well as Greek authorities’ lack of capabilities to handle the flows. Greece has long been calling on Turkey to increase patrols on its side to prevent people crossing the border. However, overall illegal immigration in the EU declined 24 percent over the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2009. The largest drop was in the west African route to the Canary Islands, which saw a spectacular 99 percent fall in illegal crossings, Fernandez said. Frontex attributes the general downward trend of illegal immigrants to the financial crisis affecting many EU countries, which has made it harder for migrants to find work. “As long as the economic crisis remains ... we expect this decreasing trend to remain,” he said. — AP

benchmark oil price, has dwindled from $20 billion at the start of late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s term in 2007, to around $4.4 billion when President Goodluck Jonathan took over in May, and less than $1 billion now. The government says the ECA has served its purpose as an account to be used to protect Nigeria against a fall in commodities prices or a global downturn. But analysts say the reduction is alarmingly sharp during a period of relatively high oil prices-Thursday’s price of $85 a barrel is a 40 percent premium on the $60 assumption in the 2010 budget-and a recovery in Nigerian oil production. Aganga said last week Nigeria’s foreign reserves were well below where they ought to be and that a plan was in place to restore them. He has also said spending for next year will be capped at 4.56 trillion naira ($30 billion) as the government seeks to rein in expenditure over the next three years. Parliament approved spending of more than 4.8 trillion naira for 2010, up more than 50 percent on the previous year. — Reuters

Berlusconi laughs off US critique on his partying ROME: Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi defended himself on Monday against classified US State Department cables which labelled him “feckless” and suggested his penchant for “partying hard” affected his ability to govern. The 74-year-old prime minister’s private life has been in the spotlight for weeks since a teenaged nightclub dancer known as Ruby reported being paid 7,000 euros ($9,200) after attending a party at his private residence near Milan earlier this year. Berlusconi is “feckless, vain and ineffective as a modern European leader” and his “frequent late nights and penchant for partying hard mean he does not get sufficient rest”, a US diplomat says in comments published by whistleblower WikiLeaks. On a visit to Tripoli, the Italian prime minister dismissed the comments with a joke. “Unfortunately, I have never in my life taken part in any ‘wild party’. They may be interesting,” he told reporters in comments broadcast by SkyTG24 television. “Once a month, I give dinners in my houses because there are so many people who want to meet me,” he said. “When people say, ‘How come you let in mobile telephones?’ I say everything which happens is so correct and dignified and elegant that anyone could film or photograph anything that happens in these dinners.” Last year, an escort named Patrizia D’Addario said

she had been paid to attend a party at Berlusconi’s Rome residence and later slept with him. She taped her some of the conversations during the party on her cellphone. Berlusconi has laughed off the uproar caused by accounts of “bunga bunga”-an expression referring to sexual activity which comes from the punchline of one of his favourite lewd jokes-parties at his villa, saying of his taste for young women “it is better to like beautiful girls than to be gay”. But he is facing growing political pressure following a bitter split in the ruling People of Freedom party and he faces a no confidence vote on Dec. 14 which could bring down his struggling centre-right government. Opinion polls show the stories of girls and parties have undermined his popularity among an electorate which appears to be losing its patience with the prime minister’s foibles in the face of mounting economic difficulties. “These are all things which hurt the image of the country when they are spread around because someone might think they are true,” Berlusconi said on Monday. The wider problems facing the government were underlined on bond markets as the premium that investors demand to hold Italian government bonds instead of German debt rose on Monday to its highest level since the euro was created. — Reuters



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Brazil police scour sewers for druglords RIO DE JANEIRO: Police scoured sewers under Rio’s sprawling slums Monday for hundreds of drug traffickers who fled an unprecedented military onslaught on the favelas that netted Brazil’s biggest seizure of marijuana. With Rio’s World Cup and Olympic hosting duties looming, some 2,600 paratroopers, marines and elite police backed up by helicopters and armored personnel carriers led a pre-dawn assault Sunday on the traffickers’ bastion of Grota, a lawless city within a city with a population of 400,000. Grota is just one of 15 favelas that make up the Complexo do Alemao. But with an estimated 500 drug dealers thought to be hiding in the maze of slums, only 130 arrests were made. Officials said the dealers may

have escaped through a large network of sewers before the police arrived. “Several dealers were arrested as they tried to escape dressed in religious or municipal employee uniforms,” police special operations chief Paulo Henrique Moraes told reporters. He said the sewers had been built by different companies and that the construction was halted and restarted numerous times, meaning that no single engineer knows their exact layout and dimensions. But police proudly displayed the cache they seized early Monday: five rifles, two grenades, pistol magazines, body armor, calculators and a booklet filled with accounts of drug sales. And they touted the record seizure of 40

tonnes of marijuana, packaged for delivery, from several houses in Grota Sunday. Police had formed a long human chain, snaking down narrow, steep streets, passing the drugs along to waiting trucks in a main street below. Another 200 kilograms of cocaine were also seized in the area, media reports said.So far, 37 people have been killed in a week of urban combat that erupted with a wave of attacks on police stations and fire vehicles by gangs of drug traffickers, prompting the government to go on the offensive. The military police also reported four members of the security forces and five suspected criminal wounded in the action, with 102 vehicles, including 29 buses, set on fire.

“We will win this war,” outgoing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said in his weekly address, as he lauded the operation’s “success.” He also announced an upcoming visit to the Alemao, without providing details. Despite the soaring rhetoric of senior officials, it remains to be seen whether the city, which is preparing to host the 2016 Olympics and matches in the 2014 soccer World Cup, has indeed been made safer. The skepticism of favela residents was evident. “I hope it gets better, but I fear that the police and everything else will be the same again,” said a shopkeeper who declined to be named and asked that his line of business not be identified. “I fear retaliation from the drug traffickers.” But the

police and state government vow that this time, they have come to stay and that the Complexo do Alemao will finally be brought under control. Rio’s Governor Sergio Cabral said he had asked the federal government to keep troops in place after the operation ends, with peacekeepers possibly moving in next year. His Security Secretary Jose Beltrame promised that after the Complexo do Alemao, security forces would continue flushing out criminals from other favelas around the city. For a 41-year-old Evangelist priest who only gave his first name, Alexandre, the crackdown had mixed blessings, it closed down his church for six days, but provided a greater sense of security. “That’s the price

you have to pay for the violence, and it’s high,” he told AFP as he watched a police officer in full swat gear searching under the pews for wrongdoers. A third of Rio’s population of six million lives in slums perched on steep hillsides. Most favelas are no-go areas for the rest of the city’s residents, who fear the gangs and criminals. Trouble with the slums and organized crime is nothing new in Rio, but there is a new sense of urgency since Brazil has emerged as a global economic and political player. Authorities placed Brazilian and civilian police flags over the territory as a sign of their authority, despite the many drug traffickers who apparently eluded their net. — AFP

Pentagon details new security safeguards

Brace for post-Leaks information ‘big chill’ WASHINGTON: After the latest WikiLeaks revelations, the government is setting in motion a new information “big chill,” reversing almost a decade of post-Sept 11 efforts to nudge US officials into sharing sensitive documents. The Pentagon has detailed new security safeguards, including restraints on small computer flash drives, to make it harder for any one person to copy and

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama delivers a statement to members of the media in the Old Executive Office Building, on the White House campus in Washington on Monday. — AP

Obama meets empowered Republicans to push agenda WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama sits down with opposition Republican leaders yesterday to chart a course for his legislative agenda, hoping to find a way forward on key issues from taxes to a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia. The president is pushing for action on those issues in the final weeks of the current Congress, where Democrats still control both chambers. The Republicans become the majority in the House of Representatives when the new Congress convenes early next year. “My hope is that tomorrow’s meeting will mark a first step toward a new and productive working relationship,” Obama said Monday, “because we now have a shared responsibility to deliver for the American people on the issues that define not only these times, but our future.” Obama will be meeting with House and Senate leaders from both parties , eight altogether , in a session that will help define the interaction between the White House and a divided Congress for the next two years. Obama had sought a meeting with top legislative leaders of both parties before Congress took a break for last week’s Thanksgiving holiday. He was rebuffed by the newly empowered Republicans. Yesterday’s meeting could be all the more tense for the opposition-imposed delay. Republicans are savoring the thumping they gave Democrats in the Nov 2 election, a vote that gave the party control of the House of Representatives in a landslide and significantly cut into the Democratic majority in the Senate. In a double bylined op-ed piece yesterday in The Washington Post, House Speaker-to-be John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled that any compromises with the White House on spending and tax cuts would have to be on their terms. “We can work together and accomplish these things, but the White House and Democratic leaders in Congress first will have to prioritize,” they wrote. “It’s time to choose struggling middle-class families and small businesses over the demands of the liberal base. It’s time to get serious.” Already bedeviled by the WikiLeaks weekend release of classified diplomatic reports, Obama left responding to the embarrassing disclosures to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman. Instead, he sought to take the offensive domestically by announcing that he wanted Congress to freeze the pay of civilian federal government employees as a step toward cutting the huge US budget deficit. With an eye to the turmoil caused by the out-of-control debt of some European countries, American politicians in both parties are clearly worried that the world financial system might start demanding higher interest rates to lend to what is seen as an over-leveraged Washington. By hitting government workers with the pay freeze, Obama was showing Republicans he is serious about cutting red ink, an issue that played a major role in their November rout of the Democrats. Republicans applauded Obama’s announcement of the pay freeze; traditional Democratic allies, including the AFL-CIO labor federation, denounced it as shortsighted. Still to be dealt with is Obama’s insistence that Congress allow the year-end expiration of tax cuts for upper income Americans. Those reductions expire in tandem with similar cuts for those in lower tax brackets, which Obama and most Democrats want to extend. Both tax cut measures were passed during the administration of former President George W. Bush. Business-friendly Republicans, who typically stand for lower taxes, are fighting hard to keep in place the cuts for both income groups. Without compromise, all Americans would face a significant tax increase starting New Year’s Day , a dismal outcome for politicians of both parties. One of the top House Republicans, Rep. Eric Cantor, said on NBC television Tuesday that Republicans are not inclined to back off their insistence that the Bush era tax cuts be preserved for all, including the wealthy. Also hanging fire and important for US-Russian relations is the new START agreement signed in April by Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The pact calls for further reductions in nuclear weapons, building on steep cuts achieved in the original START agreement that expired at the end of 2009.

The Senate has not ratified the treaty, as required by the Constitution, and the Russians have made clear that Obama’s attempt to reset relations with Moscow depends heavily on Washington putting the pact into force. Of particular importance is Russia’s new policy of joining with Washington against Iran’s suspected attempts to build a nuclear weapon. In the past, such treaties usually have won broad bipartisan support, but in the angry political climate in the US capital these days Republicans are blocking a Senate vote on the pact in the remaining weeks of the current Congress. They apparently are hoping to put the issue off until the next sitting of Congress when the Democrats’ Senate majority will have diminished. Treaty approval requires 67 affirmative votes in the 100-seat Senate. When the next Congress convenes, the Democrats will hold just 53 seats, including the votes of two independents who usually vote with them. They currently hold 59 seats. Obama campaigned successfully for the White House on vows to defuse the partisanship in Washington, but in his first two years in office he has won no Republican support for the key items of his legislative agenda that were pushed through to passage by strong Democratic majorities in both chambers. Having lost the House and with a diminished majority in the Senate, Obama faces a difficult test of that promise to change the way business is conducted in Washington. Obama’s ability to reach compromises is further complicated by the internal politics within each of the parties. The House lost many of its moderates in the midterm elections, leaving a more liberal caucus for the next Congress. Republicans are keenly aware of a conservative tea party movement that punished Republican lawmakers seen as too willing to cross party lines. — AP

‘Widespread cheating’ in Canada citizenship tests OTTAWA: Canada beefed up its citizenship questionnaire to curb “widespread cheating” on the tests, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Monday amid criticisms over soaring failure rates. “The problem was the (old) citizenship test was passed by 97 percent of people, and there was widespread access to five standard sets of answers that people could buy on the market and cheating was widespread,” the minister said. “We’re now scrambling the questions so people have to learn... about our country, its history, its institutions and its values.” Failure rates for immigrants writing citizenship tests soared to about 30 percent after tougher questions and new rules were introduced in March, Canadian media said. The failure rate was cut to about 20 percent after a reworked test was introduced in midOctober to avoid snarling the system with appeals by would-be Canadians who flunked the examination. To pass the old test, applicants had to pass 60 percent of 20 multiple-choice questions within 30 minutes. A score of 75 percent is now required for a passing grade. Kenney’s comments came in response to accusations by an opposition MP that the Conservative government was “setting immigrants up to fail.” “Dramatic increases in both wait times and failure rates for Canadian citizenship tests (are) costing tremendous disappointment for immigrants who passionately want to become citizens,” New Democrat MP Olivia Chow said. Canada, which has a population of around 34 million, accepts an average of 250,000 legal immigrants each year. — AFP

The tightening of sensitive information comes as President Barack Obama’s administration Monday branded the leak of more than a quarter-million diplomatic memos an attack on the United States and raised the prospect of criminal prosecution against the online clearinghouse WikiLeaks. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said WikiLeaks acted illegally in posting the material. Speaking in between calls to foreign capitals as she made amends for the posting of the unvarnished memos, Clinton said the administration was taking “aggressive steps to hold responsible those who stole this information.” Attorney General Eric Holder said the government was mounting a criminal investigation. The latest disclosures, involving classified and sensitive State Department documents, jeopardized the security of the nation, its diplomats, intelligence assets and relationships with foreign governments, Holder said. Lawyers from across government agencies are investigating whether it might be possible to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and others under the Espionage Act, a senior defense official said on condition of anonymity yesterday. The official, who spoke privately in order to address the ongoing probe, said that lawyers from the departments of Justice, State and Defense are among those in discussions over whether the Espionage Act applies, what individuals it might apply to, whether it is possible to use it against the WikiLeaks organization. US officials say they already see the information chill setting in. One official in contact with US military and diplomatic staff in Iraq said the State Department and other agencies are tightening information-sharing and restricting access between the Army and nonmilitary agencies. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sharing of classified information. Access to much of that diplomatic material had been loosened after the Sept 11 attacks. The success of the al-Qaida plot was blamed in part on evidence that the US intelligence community had adequate information on the impending attacks but failed to connect the dots because it did not share its intelligence. After the 2001 attacks, various government agencies were given access to terminals in each other’s data systems. In the case of the Pentagon and State Department, it brought wholesale sharing of information on the same computer system. That loosened access may have helped enable a lone Army private to obtain sensitive files. Bradley Manning is being held in a maximum-security military jail at Quantico, Virginia, and though he has so far not been charged in the latest release of internal US government documents, WikiLeaks has hailed him as a hero. Officials said Manning is the prime suspect in the leaks partly because of his own description of how he pulled off his heist of classified and restricted material. “No one suspected a thing,” Manning told a confidant afterward, according to a log of his computer chat published by “I didn’t even have to hide anything.” Manning is charged in military court with taking other classified material that was later published by WikiLeaks. It is not clear whether others, such as WikiLeaks executives, might be charged separately in civilian courts. Manning may have defeated Pentagon security systems using little more than a Lady Gaga CD and a portable computer memory stick. In his Internet chat, he said he brought a homemade music CD to work with him, erased the music and replaced it with secrets. He told a computer hacker who later turned him in that he lip-synched along with the pop singer’s hit “Telephone” while making off with “possibly the largest data spillage in American history.” “Weak servers, weak logging, weak physical security, weak counterintelligence, inattentive signal analysis,” Manning wrote. “A perfect storm.” Joel Brenner, the top US counterintelligence executive from 2006 to 2009, said he had warned that the loosened intelligence networks after Sept. 11 invited massive leaks. Brenner said he argued for a costly overhaul of most US intelligence sharing systems. His recommendations focused on reforming how the systems are engineered, so they automatically barred access or allowed only tiered access to certain information and controlling and monitoring who has access and how the access is used. “The idea that you can share information without increasing the risk of leaking is foolishness,” he said. “That doesn’t mean you don’t share, but you have to be really careful about how you do it.” Associated Press writer Pauline Jelinek contributed to this report from Washington. — AP

reveal so many secrets. The clampdow n parallels efforts at other agencies. For the military it represents a throttling back of initiatives to let other agencies see more of the vast trove of data the Pentagon collects. The new attitude may also make intelligence information less w idely available to low -level soldiers serving at “the tip of the spear” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gestures during a statement on the WikiLeaks document release on Monday at the State Department in Washington. — AP

Student holds room hostage, shoots self WISCONSIN: A high school student who pulled a handgun and shot a film projector as the school day wound down held 23 classmates and a teacher hostage for about five hours before shooting himself when police busted down a classroom door. Terrified Marinette High School students did their best to keep the 15-year-old gunman calm, spending hours talking to him about hunting and fishing, said student Zach Campbell, one of five hostages who were released after convincing the teen they had to use the bathroom. “We just wanted to be on his good side,” Campbell said. He said the gunman seemed depressed. “But he didn’t really seem like he wanted to hurt anybody.” Officers who had positioned themselves outside the classroom said they heard three gunshots shortly after 8 pm Monday and busted through the door, Police Chief Jeff Skorik said. The gunman, who was standing at the front of the classroom, shot himself as officers approached, the chief said. Skorik declined to release the teen’s name, saying he was taken to an area hospital and his condition was not available Monday night. No one else was injured. Cartridge casings from both a .22 caliber semiautomatic weapon and a 9 mm semiautomatic

were found at the scene. The gunman had refused to communicate with officials during the standoff, Skorik said, but allowed the teacher to speak with authorities by phone. The teen had made his classmates put their cell phones in the middle of the room and broke his own phone when it rang, Campbell said. Keith Schroeder, a former Marinette middle school teacher, said he had the gunman as a student and also knows the teacher well. He said the teen’s family is extremely involved in all their boys’ lives. “He’s a fine young man, and I’m totally taken aback,” Schroeder told The Associated Press. “Surprised, flabbergasted to say the least because this is a great family. It doesn’t fit any of the things or the molds that you read about people. I couldn’t say enough good things about the family.” During the standoff, dozens of people kept away from the scene by firefighters congregated in the parking lot of a nearby hair salon in the town of about 12,000 people that sits on the border with Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The high school has an annual enrollment of approximately 800 students, according to its website. “They just spent a whole bundle of money on classroom doors to make them secure, but they don’t have metal detectors at the school,” said councilman Bradley Behrendt.—AP

WISCONSIN: Law enforcement officials stand guard in the doorway of Marinette High School yesterday morning in Marinette, Wis. Authorities say a teen who held 24 hostages in a Wisconsin classroom has potentially life-threatening injuries from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. — AP



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Filipinos back contraception bill despite Church opposition MANILA: Seven in 10 Filipinos support a reproductive health bill permitting education on contraception which would also help check population growth, despite opposition from the powerful Roman Catholic Church, a survey showed yesterday. The Church, a major social and political force in the poor Southeast Asian nation of about 95 million, has blocked

similar bills since the 1990s and earlier this year denounced President Benigno Aquino’s support for contraception. The bill is in the early stages of consideration by Congress, and proponents are confident it can be enacted into law given it has the backing of Aquino, who says slowing population growth will help fight poverty. Father

Melvin Castro of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines said the bill was “an attack to the sanctity of life and indirectly promotes abortion”. The Church backs “natural” contraception while opposing “artificial” methods, including condoms, pills and other means. Ana Maria Tabunda of Pulse Asia, the group which conducted the sur-

vey, told Reuters the Church’s attack on Aquino over education had raised awareness of and support for the bill. The survey of 1,200 people, conducted in late October, found 80 percent of respondents aware of the bill in Congress, and 69 percent supported the bill to educate people about family planning methods. Only 7 percent of respondents

opposed the bill, while 24 percent were undecided, Pulse Asia said. The main objection of the bill’s opponents was sex education in schools. A majority of those opposed still backed the use of state funds to promote artificial contraception. In a survey in 2008, 68 percent were aware of a reproductive health bill and 63 percent supported it,

Tabunda said. Aquino, a Catholic like four out of five Filipinos, said his support for the bill had nothing to do with opinion polls. “It’s still called responsible parenthood and what it seeks to do is remind everyone of their responsibility as a parent,” he told reporters. Abortion is illegal in the Philippines and that would not change under the proposed bill.

Condoms and birth control pills are available, but the Church is opposed to offering information about and access to artificial contraception. Despite Aquino’s support, passage of the bill is uncertain. The Church has played a key role in the overthrow of two presidents in the past 25 years and politicians arecareful not to offend it. —Reuters

South Korea, Japan and US to meet in Washington

Now North Korea boasts advances in nuclear program SEOUL: Secretive North Korea boasted advances in its nuclear program yesterday, making sure it held the world’s attention, saying it had thousands of working centrifuges, as pressure built on China to rein in its ally. Nuclear-

armed Pyongyang’s revelations about its uranium enrichment, which gives it a second route to make a nuclear bomb, came a week after it fired an artillery barrage at a South Korean island, killing four people, including two civilians. Experts have voiced surprise at the sophistication of a uranium enrichment plant and light-water reactor at the North’s main nuclear complex, which were shown to a US scientist earlier this month. There has been no way to verify the North’s claims. The North is also seen as a proliferation risk, accused by the West of supplying Syria, and possibly Iran, with nuclear knowhow. “Currently, construction of a light-water reactor is in progress actively and a modern uranium enrichment plant equipped with several thousands of centrifuges, to secure the supply of fuels, is operating,” the Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported. “Nuclear energy development projects will become more active for peaceful purpose in the future,” added the paper, according the state news agency KCNA. New revelations by whistle-blower Wikileaks, meanwhile, suggested that some Chinese officials did not view North Korea as a useful ally and would take no action if it collapsed. By staging provocations and flexing its nuclear muscle, analysts say the isolated North is WEST SEA: US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter attack aircrafts sit in heavy fog on the deck of the USS seeking to increase its leverage George Washington, during a joint military exercise off South Korea’s West Sea yesterday. The US and two cru- as it pushes for a resumption of talks with regional powers, cial Asian allies agreed to talk in Washington about North Korea’s attack on a South Korean island. —AP which it walked out of two years ago, in return for aid. Andrei Lankov, a North Korea expert at Seoul’s Kookmin University, said Pyongyang was simply following a typical pattern. “For the last two years, both Washington and Seoul have tried to ignore them, so now they use both artillery and centrifuges to say: ‘we are here, we are dangerous, INCHEON: Residents of a South against a civilian target on land for the playschool, but now in a makeshift room and we cannot be ignored. We Korean island shelled by North Korea first time since the 1950-53 Korean in a corner of the spa. She feels it is can make a lot of trouble, but also last week have taken refuge at a mam- War. President Lee Myung-bak has more important than ever to create we behave reasonably if rewardmoth spa, but life is anything but relax- vowed to get tough with the North, a some sort of normalcy for the children. ed generously enough’,” Lankov ing and the future looks bleak with no pledge similar to the one he issued after “We hope playing will help bring some wrote on the East Asia Forum guarantee they will ever go home. Most he accused the North of torpedoing a peace. And we’re lucky to have this website. of the 1,600 residents of Yeonpyeong navy ship in March, killing 46 sailors. space and have toys donated for them.” North Korea has conducted have fled the mountainous isle that lies Both times, many say, his get-tough It is a long way from home for the grown two nuclear tests to date and is just three km (two miles) from the dis- message was followed by restraint ups, who are too old for the hard floors, believed to have enough fissile puted sea border and well within range rather than action. the water park upstairs or the fancy material from its plutoniumof North Korea’s artillery, which killed Many of the mostly elderly former gym equipment. based program to make between four people last week and destroyed residents of Yeonpyeong spend their Kim Jae-ok was first in line at 11.30 six and 12 bombs. It is impossidozens of houses. days sitting or lying idly in a dimly lit a.m. when lunch was served, appearing ble to verify the North’s uranium Many of the 300 or so who have open space on the second floor, sur- withdrawn and depressed. “It’s very enrichment program, which it taken over an entire floor of the In Spa rounded by half eaten fruit, paper cups hard,” he muttered under his hat as he first announced last year. International inspectors were World courtesy of its owner and the city and bags carrying the most basic neces- took a meal of rice, broiled beef and expelled from the country last of Incheon say their frustration is grow- sities. Few have any idea where their kimchi pickled cabbage. “I really don’t year, but Washington has said ing and life at the shelter unbearable. lives are headed. know if we are going to go back home.” since 2002 that it suspected “The air is stuffy, the floor is hard and Park Hye-won used to run the only Some found refuge in worship. Ko Pyongyang had such a program. we don’t get enough sun,” said Shin Il- playschool on Yeonpyeong with 48 chil- Yam-jeon, 76, was getting up from a Analysts say its actions are also geun, who has been at the spa since the dren, mostly the offspring of Marines chat with a psychological counsellor, linked to family politics, as ailing shelling which turned his home into and their spouses who are stationed looking relieved and serene. leader Kim Jong-il seeks to burghost town, with just 30 or so residents there. She worries some of her charges Yeonpyeong was her home for 60 nish a military image for his inexstill there. “The people here are those may have been traumatised for life by years, and she also does not know perienced son and chosen sucwho have nobody to turn to, the most the shelling. “It was nap time and the whether she will go back. “It’s so sad cessor Kim Jong-un. helpless, and we’re getting the worst teachers had to wake them up and get four people died, but I’ve prayed that it South Korea’s Foreign end of the deal, with no end in sight,” them dressed, and get them moving to wasn’t worse. I am grateful for that,” Ministry said yesterday the Shin said, his voice rising in frustration. evacuate. But you know, the kids were Ko said reaching for a reporter’s hand. North’s nuclear program, last Anger is growing in South Korea at so orderly. Their instinct told them “I prayed for North Korea that things week’s attack on Yeonpyeong how its government and the military there was danger.” don’t get worse ... that we would be island and a Chinese proposal for handled the North’s surprise attack Park was back at her job running the reunited one day.”—Reuters emergency talks would be raised at meeting of foreign ministers in Washington in early December. South Korea, Japan and the United States, three of the six countries involved in the on-off disarmament talks, will attend. Talks host China has proposed a summit meeting of the six parties that have been trying to rein in North Korea’s nuclear program. Russia and North Korea are also part of that group. “Returning to consultation and talks is in the interests of all sides,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular news briefing. “Ensuring the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula is the shared responsibility of all sides. We call on all sides to do more to stabilise the situation.” Japan’s Kyodo news agency quoted diplomatic sources in Beijing as saying that Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo, who advises leaders on foreign policy, would visit North Korea as early as today. He is likely to urge North Korea INCHEON: South Koreans who evacuated Yeonpyeong Island watch a television broadcasting South Korean to take part in the talks, Kyodo reported. —Reuters President Lee Myung-bak’s press conference at a temporary shelter in Incheon, South Korea, Monday. —AP

Life far from soothing for South Korea islanders at refuge spa

BEIJING: The United States embassy’s deputy chief of mission, Robert Goldberg (L), speaks to journalists outside the Beijing court where the appeal by geologist Xue Feng was due to be heard yesterday where the US called for the immediate release of the geologist convicted in China on a state secrets charge while protesting a lack of access to his appeals hearing. —AFP

US demands China release geologist BEIJING: The United States yesterday called for the immediate release of an American geologist convicted in China on a state secrets charge and protested at a lack of access to his appeals hearing. The US issued the call in an unusual public statement delivered by the American embassy’s deputy chief of mission, Robert Goldberg, outside the Beijing court where the appeal by geologist Xue Feng was due to be heard. “We urge the Chinese to grant Dr Xue humanitarian release and immediate deportation so that he can return home to the US and reunite with his family,” Goldberg said, reading out the statement on behalf of ambassador Jon Huntsman. Xue, a Chinese-born US citizen working for a private firm, was detained in November 2007 over the sale of a database on China’s oil industry, and was sentenced in July to eight years in jail for violating state secrets. The United States has repeatedly raised concerns over whether Xue’s rights were being protected and whether he had access to a fair trial. President Barack Obama has personally raised Xue’s case with Chinese President Hu Jintao, US diplomats have said previously. US consular officials have visited Xue on numerous occasions since his detention but Goldberg said China was barring them from the appeals hearing in violation of bilateral agreements. “We made a formal request to attend Dr Xue’s appeals hearing and provide him consular representation and support, as is our right under the 1980 US-China consular convention,” Goldberg said. “Regrettably the Beijing High People’s Court denied this request.” The embassy has filed a formal protest with China’s foreign ministry, he said. “We urge the (Beijing High People’s Court) and the Chinese government to ensure fairness

and transparency in the process of Dr Xue’s appeal,” Goldberg said. Court staff denied knowledge of the case when contacted by AFP. It was not known when a ruling on the appeal would be issued. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei defended the handling of the case during a regular press briefing. “The Chinese judicial authorities will handle the case according to law and continue to fulfil our obligations according to the China-US treaty on consular affairs,” Hong said, refusing to comment further. At the time of his arrest, Xue was working for US energy and engineering consulting firm IHS Inc. Both Xue and IHS have stated that they believed the database to be a commercially available product. It was only classified as a state secret after Xue had bought it, according to the Dui Hua Foundation, a rights group. Goldberg said the case has not been handled with the “transparency that would befit a nation which tells us that the rule of law is paramount in all judicial processes.” Xue’s arrest and other cases have cast a spotlight on the pitfalls of doing business in China, especially for those born in China who have been educated abroad and taken on a foreign nationality. Goldberg said the US embassy had been contacted previously by American citizens of Chinese descent who complain they face “different standards” of treatment, particularly in business. Australian national Stern Hu, an executive with the mining giant Rio Tinto, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in March on bribery and trade secrets charges, in a case that raised hackles in Canberra. Rights activists say China routinely abuses its state secrets laws, typically as a way to silence government critics. —AFP

WikiLeaks: China knows less about N Korea than thought BEIJING: China knows less about and has less influence over its close ally North Korea than is usually presumed and is likely to eventually accept a reunified peninsula under South Korean rule, according to US diplomatic files leaked to the WikiLeaks website. The memos, called cables, though they were mostly encrypted e-mails, paint a picture of three countries struggling to understand an isolated, hard-line regime in the face of a dearth of information and indicate American and South Korean diplomats’ reliance on China’s analysis and interpretation. The release of the documents, which included discussions of contingency plans for the regime’s collapse and speculation about when that might come, follows new tensions in the region. North Korea unleashed a fiery artillery barrage on a South Korean island that killed four people a week ago and has since warned that joint US-South Korean naval drills this week are pushing the peninsula to the “brink of war.” The shelling comes on the heels of a slew of other provocative acts: An illegal nuclear test and several missile tests, the torpedoing of a South Korean warship and, most recently, an announcement that in addition to its plutonium program, it may also be pursuing the uranium path to a nuclear bomb. The memos give a window into a period prior to the latest tensions, but they paint a picture

of three countries struggling to understand isolated and unpredictable North Korea. In the cables, China sometimes seems unaware of or uncertain about issues ranging from who will succeed North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to the regime’s uranium enrichment plans and its nuclear test, suggesting that the North plays its cards close to its chest even with its most important ally. Questioned about the enriched uranium program in June last year, Chinese officials said they believed that was program was “only in an initial phase”, a characterization that now appears to have been a gross underestimate. China is Pyongyang’s closest ally, Beijing fought on the northern side of the Korean War and its aid props up the current regime, and its actions have often served to insulate North Korea from foreign pressure. It has repeatedly opposed harsh economic sanctions and responded to the latest crises by repeating calls for a return to long-stalled, six-nation denuclearization talks that the North has rejected. But China would appear to have little ability to stop a collapse and less influence over the authorities in Pyongyang than is widely believed, South Korea’s then-vice foreign minister, Chun Yung-woo, is quoted telling American Ambassador Kathleen Stephens in February. China lacks the will to push Pyongyang to change its behavior, according

to Chun, but Beijing will not necessarily oppose the US and South Korea in the case of a North Korean collapse. China “would be comfortable with a reunified Korea controlled by Seoul and anchored to the US in a ‘benign alliance’ as long as Korea was not hostile towards China,” Chun said. Economic opportunities in a reunified Korea could further induce Chinese acquiescence, he said. The diplomatic cables warn, however, that China would not accept the presence of US troops north of the demilitarized zone that currently forms the NorthSouth border. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China would not comment specifically on the cables. “China consistently supports dialogue between the North and South sides of the Korean peninsula to improve their relations,” Hong said at a regularly scheduled news conference. In the leaked cable, Chun predicts the government in Pyongyang would last no more than three years following the death of ailing leader Kim Jong Il, who is seeking to transfer power to his youngest son Kim Jong Un, a political ingenue in his 20s. Chun also dismisses the possibility of Chinese military intervention if North Korea descended into chaos. Despite that, China is preparing to handle any outbreaks of unrest along the border that could follow a collapse of the regime. —AP


Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Bangladesh wants money, not more talks on climate change DHAKA: The terrible human cost of cyclones and flooding are plain to see in southwest Bangladesh, a low-lying, impoverished region on the frontline of the battle to adapt to climate change. Cyclone Aila, which hit in May last year, killed 300 people, washed away the embankments which make coastal regions habitable, and left 150,000 survivors reliant on emergency relief supplies including free rice. Aila was particularly destructive as a huge volume of water, swollen by spring tides, slammed into a densely populated, extremely poor area, said Saleemul Huq of the International Institute for Environment and

Development. “Bangladesh is often said to be on the ‘frontline’ of adverse climate change impacts due to this combination of a large, dense and poor population with potentially severe changes [in weather] as well as sea level rises,” Huq said. “Such severe storms are likely to become more frequent in future,” he told AFP, adding that sea level rises mean cyclones and tidal surges will become more devastating. Such dire warnings explain why, as the UN’s talks on climate change begin in Mexico, people in Bangladesh are less interested in the endless debates than in getting money to help communities prepare for increasingly extreme

weather. “Even 18 months after Cyclone Aila struck, it remains a wasteland — 90 percent of the trees are dead and the birds are still not singing,” Koyra district chief Abul Bashar told AFP. “I have 150,000 people living on government handouts, they cannot farm as their lands were flooded with salt water,” he said, adding that the area was also hit by major flooding in 2004 and 2007. In November, Bangladesh became one of the first three countries to tap into a pilot climate change fund which is funneling millions of dollars to help places like Koyra cope with and adapt to climate change. Part of Bangladesh’s grant, to be

managed by the World Bank, will help shore up the country’s coastal embankment to withstand cyclones and storm surges, and also pay for water supply projects and promote farming of more resilient crops. Tajikistan and Niger are the two other beneficiaries of the grants, the likes of which will be high on the agenda among representatives of 194 countries meeting in the Mexican resort city of Cancun. With the UN climate change negotiation process locked in deep acrimony between rich and poor nations, delegates are hoping progress on the financing issue will help rebuild trust. If all went to plan in Cancun, rich

countries would provide 30 billion dollars in “fast start” funds to worsthit nations such as Bangladesh from 2010 to 2012. This would hopefully lay the foundations for providing up to 100 billion dollars a year in aid to poor countries by 2020. “The world knows very well how we have been coping with one natural disaster after another,” environment secretary Mihir Kanti Mojumdar told AFP before leaving for Cancun. “They must compensate us and take into account our population size (146 million),” he said, adding Bangladesh wanted at least 4.5 billion dollars from the funds. “Some of the rich nations are wary of committing

money for the fund as they have been hit by global recession. But they are still rich and we are not-and we need help now,” Mojumdar said. A World Bank study released this month estimated Bangladesh would need to spend an additional 2.6 billion dollars by 2050 to ensure key infrastructure was protected from the impact of climate change. One United Nations adaptation project already under way in Bangladesh is to establish 6,100 hectares of mangrove plantations and 935 hectares of timber and fruit trees along the coast. UNDP administrator Helen Clark last month visited the remote island of Char Kukri-Mukri,

one of four sites where women have been trained to grow the mangrove saplings, as well as trees used for timber, such as bamboo. The mangroves absorb carbon and, more importantly, trap sediment in their intricate root structure at such a high rate that they can potentially reverse the effects of sea-level rises. A total of 2.5 million trees will be planted through the project.But Bangladesh undoubtedly needs much more help, and quickly. “Aila was a sign of what is to come. It gave us an idea of how bad things will be,” said Atiq Rahman, a Bangladeshi member of the IPCC, the UN’s climate change research body. —AFP

Parliament to discuss bill for additional $9.8bln in spending

India government fails to end parliamentary deadlock NEW DELHI: India’s government and opposition parties failed yesterday to break a three-week parliamentary deadlock over a corruption probe that has weakened the ruling Congress-party and stalled spending and reform bills. New Delhi may have lost up to $39 billion by selling cellular licences too cheaply, and the new telecoms minister has vowed action against holders of 85 licences that may not have met eligibility criteria and others that have

KABUL: This picture taken on November 23, 2010 shows Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai during a press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul. —AFP

Karzai pardons criminals, drug dealers: WikiLeaks KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered the release of numerous dangerous criminals and drug traffickers detained by US-led coalition forces, leaked American diplomatic cables revealed yesterday. American officials said they had repeatedly rebuked the president and Afghan attorney general Muhammad Ishaq Alko for authorising the release of detainees over a three-year period. “Both authorize the release of detainees pretrial and allow dangerous individuals to go free or re-enter the battlefield without ever facing an Afghan court,” said a cable dated August 2009 and classified as “secret” by then-US deputy ambassador to Afghanistan Francis Ricciardone. “Despite our complaints and expressions of concern to the GIRoA (Afghan government), pre-trial releases continue,” it said. Internet whistleblower WikiLeaks has begun releasing a quarter of a million confidential US diplomatic cables, detailing embarrassing and inflammatory episodes in what the White House called a “reckless and dangerous action”. In the August 2009 cable, American officials said that since 2007, 150 of the 629 detainees transferred from coalition to Afghan custody had been released without trial. It said Karzai had pardoned five border policemen in April 2009 who were caught with 124 kilograms (273 pounds) of heroin in their police vehicle and had been sentenced to terms of 16 to 18 years in prison. They were pardoned “on the grounds that they were distantly related to two individuals who had been martyred

during the civil war,” the cable noted. The document said Karzai also intervened in a narcotics case involving the son of a wealthy businessman and one of his supporters. The president ordered a second investigation “without any constitutional authority” it said, which found the defendant had been framed. The latest cable strikes at the heart of Western fears that high-level corruption within the Afghan government and judiciary is undermining the nine-year war against the Taliban. Last week the attorney general, a key ally of the president, was accused of playing politics over a criminal probe into the country’s fraud-marred parliamentary elections that were held in September. The probe has queried the disqualification of 24 poll candidates by the country’s top electoral body. Election results released last week are said to have weakened support for the president, who has allies among those disqualified. The president’s office and attorney-general’s office were not immediately available for comment over the latest disclosure. On Monday, Afghanistan said its relations with the United States would not be affected by earlier leaked cables portraying Karzai as weak and paranoid, and his brother as a corrupt drugs baron. US ambassador to Kabul, Karl Eikenberry, has condemned the WikiLeaks’ release and reiterated American commitment “to building and strengthening a long-term partnership with the Afghan people and the Afghan government”. “Our shared goals do not change based on the release of purported diplomatic reporting from the past,” Eikenberry said. —AFP

Afghan officials free top Taleban fighters KABUL: Afghan security forces are freeing captured senior Taleban for payment or political motives, with President Hamid Karzai and his powerful brother among those authorizing and requesting releases. The practice is so systemic that the Taleban have a committee focused on getting their fighters out of jail. It undermines the deterrent effect of arrest and the potential of the prisoner population as a card to play in peace talks, analysts say. The releases, which were confirmed to Reuters by several sources familiar with a range of cases, also raise questions about the capacity and political will of Afghan security forces meant to be taking over from foreign troops starting next year. US forces will begin drawing down numbers from next July and NATO hopes to meet Karzai’s 2014 target for all security to be provided by Afghan police and military. But cases uncovered by Reuters including that of Ghulam Haidar, a top insurgent in the southern Taleban heartland of Kandahar, suggest that a web of complex loyalties and widespread corruption are undermining the fight against the insurgency. Ghulam Haidar, meaning “servant of God”, is a common name in Afghanistan

so when Canadian forces turned one of the most dangerous men in Kandahar city over to their Afghan counterparts in March, they may not have realised who he was. Days later he was walking free again, according to three sources who have investigated prisoner releases or have seen documents about Haidar’s capture. They asked not to be named because they are not authorised to release information. “They took this guy into custody in mid-March, but he was out again in a few days. This is a classic example of what has been happening,” one former Western official told Reuters. A Kabul-based source with links to Western intelligence services confirmed Haidar was a Taleban leader known to have a major role in the insurgency around the city. Yet his freedom was requested by Karzai’s younger brother Ahmad Wali Karzai, head of the Kandahar provincial council. Dubbed “AWK” by Westerners working in Kandahar, he has an iron grip on the city but his loyalties are considered less solid. A US government cable dated 2009, released by WikiLeaks, described him as a corrupt drug trafficker. “When Ghulam Haidar was

in (Afghan) custody AWK asked for his release,” said a second source, who rejected the idea that Haidar could have been set free because he was a double agent. “If the Afghan government had good agents within the Taleban things should have gotten better-but that is obviously not the case,” the source added. Ahmad Wali Karzai said he had never asked for the release of a Taleban prisoner and had not heard of Ghulam Haidar. “I am the person most wanted by the Taleban, with nine suicide attacks against me,” he told Reuters by telephone. “I would be the last person to release the Taleban-my position is for more tough measures against them.” The Defence Ministry and National Directorate of Security, President Karzai’s office and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force all declined to respond to questions on Ghulam Haidar’s case or the wider issue of Taleban releases. A spokesman for the Interior Ministry, which controls the police, said it had not been involved in release of any Taleban. “We have no evidence and no examples that detained Taleban were released by government officials,” Zemarai Bashary said. —Reuters

Parliament was supposed to discuss a bill for additional spending of about $9.8 billion to ensure the functioning of government, including interest payments on government debt and subsidies on food and fuel. The government must pass the bill before the end of the parliamentary session on Dec. 13 or the government falls. But the government could force through the bill despite opposition if the decision came down to the wire. Other stalled bills included legislation to ease land acquisition for industry and mines, one of the country’s biggest roadblocks to improve ailing infrastructure. While the government will likely survive and the market impact has largely been limited to specific sectors, Congress is mindful it lost a 1989 general election partly due to a bribes scandal over gun contracts that hit then-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s image. Corruption is nothing new in emerging markets such as China and India, but the stakes in India have risen as the economy modernises and investment surges but the political system remains heavily reliant on patronage and graft is rife. Shares in property firm Unitech, which has a cellular joint venture with Norway’s Telenor, and Videocon, which was among the telecom licence holders named in a government audit, fell more than 6 percent in early trade. Unitech and Videocon stocks rebounded later and closed up 4 percent and 1.95 percent, respectively, on bargain hunting, traders said. The main index gained 0.6 percent on strong economic data. Yesterday, the finance minister told investors not to panic over a bribes-for-loan case that led to eight executives being arrested in the latest graft scandal to surface this month. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested eight financial executives from the public and private sector last week, including three from brokerage Money Matters Financial Services. A CBI source said on Monday that the loans probe would be widened.”There is no need for pressing the panic button. All the loans which have given to the various concernsthey are well protected, money of the investors in these institutions,” Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters. The Indian economy, growing at 8.5 percent, has been beset by other scandals in the past few months, among them accusations of government mismanagement in India’s hosting of the $6 billion Commonwealth Games. The CBI, which is investigating corruption scams linked to the Games, yesterday raided the home of its organizing secretary and Games committee offices in relation to a probe into $21.7 million of misplaced funds. Despite the scandals, India remains a favored investment destination, especially for businesses hit by weak US and European economies. “India is an extraordinary market opportunity,” Ron Somers, head of the US-India Business Council, told Reuters Insider TV. “It’s not a place to do business for the faint-hearted. This is a long-term commitment.” —Reuters

failed to meet rollout requirements. It was the latest in a string of scandals that has emboldened opposition to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government and weakened his ability to govern Asia’s third largest economy.”The stalemate continues,” the leader of the opposition, Sushma Swaraj, said after the meeting at which she demanded the government accept a joint parliamentary enquiry into the case.

NEW DELHI: Indian police detain a demonstrator at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club in New Delhi yesterday. —AFP

Probe under way at Kabulbank DUBAI: Suspected mismanagement at Afghanistan’s troubled Kabulbank is being investigated but the lender is under the control of the central bank and is operating normally, the Afghan finance minister told Reuters yesterday. Suspected irregularities at the country’s top private financial institution have threatened to add a financial crisis to Afghanistan’s other woes, as violence in the country has hit at an alltime high in recent months. “Mismanagement is being investi-

gated,” Omar Zakhilwal said on the sidelines of an Afghanistan investment conference in Dubai. “Kabulbank has stabilised and is operating normally,” he said, confirming that the lender was now under the control of the central bank. In September, Central Bank Governor Abdul Qadir Fitrat told Reuters the central bank had stepped in to take control of Kabulbank after customers had started a run on the bank. He also said investigations had

started into the dealings of the bank’s top two directors and shareholders, who were told to resign, and a brother of Afghan First Vice President, Mohammad Qasim Fahim. Corruption is a major concern in Afghanistan and a frequent source of tension with its Western allies. The Afghan government and the central bank had previously maintained that Kabulbank had not been taken over, despite a central bank official being appointed as chief executive officer. —Reuters

Two acquitted of sabotaging Indian billionaire’s helicopter

DHARMSALA: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama gives a religious talk at the Tsuglakhang temple in Dharmsala, India yesterday. Attended by hundreds of devotees these three-day talks ending tomorrow were requested by a Buddhist group from Russia. —AP

MUMBAI: Two men were acquitted by an Indian court yesterday after being charged with sabotaging the helicopter of one of the world’s richest men. Uday Warekar and Palraj Thevar had been on trial since August following the discovery of stones and sand in the fuel tank of the Bell 412 chopper owned by Anil Ambani, head of the giant Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, last year. They had faced a life sentence if found guilty of committing offences under India’s civil aviation act, but a judge threw out the case for lack of evidence, the domestic Press Trust of India news agency said. Ambani, 51, is the sixth richest Indian and 36th richest man in the world with a net worth of 13.7 billion dollars, according to the business magazine Forbes. Warekar and Thevar, both in their 30s, had been working at Mumbai airport with a senior technician when the items were found in the helicopter’s fuel tank on April 23 last year. The third technician was later found dead on railway tracks in the city,

apparently through suicide, with reports saying he was afraid he would be blamed. His family dispute that he took his own life. Police said the dead man was not involved in the incident, which they said formed part of a long-running feud between unions and the management at Air Works, the firm responsible for maintaining the helicopter. Air Works, which operates under the slogan “Fly Assured”, registered a complaint of “mischief with intent to cause hurt or death” immediately after the discovery of the stones, which could have interfered with the engine. A separate complaint filed by a senior pilot of Reliance Transport alleged that business rivals may have been trying to kill Ambani, who commutes to work by helicopter to avoid Mumbai’s gridlocked traffic. But police ruled out the corporate rivalry theory. Ambani’s brother, Mukesh, 54, runs India’s largest private sector firm, Reliance Industries, and is the world’s fourth-richest man with a 29-billion-dollar fortune. —AFP



Wednesday, December 1, 2010


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WikiLeaks and the suspect Manning By Phil Stewart


radley Manning, a 23year-old former US Army intelligence analyst, is at the center of a US investigation into the source of a series document dumps by whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks this year, US officials say on the condition of anonymity. WikiLeaks’ latest release of more than 250,000 diplomatic cables exposing candid and embarrassing assessments of world leaders followed the release of 500,000 classified US files on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. US officials decline to speak openly about Manning because of the ongoing investigation into the biggest series of leaks in US history. But here are some questions and answers about the suspect: WHERE IS BRADLEY MANNING? Manning is detained at Quantico Marine Base in Virginia after being charged in July with improperly obtaining a classified video showing a 2007 helicopter attack that killed a dozen people in Iraq, including two Reuters journalists. That video was released by WikiLeaks in April. He was also charged with downloading more than 150,000 US State Department documents, and leaking at least some cables, while he working with the intelligence operation of the 10th Mountain Division’s 2nd Brigade in Iraq. US officials have declined to say whether those cables are the same ones now being released by WikiLeaks. HOW WAS HE CAUGHT He bragged about his exploits with former hacker Adrian Lamo, who then turned him into the authorities, Lamo told Reuters. Manning was

promptly seized by the Army and detained in Kuwait before being transferred back to the United States. HOW DID HE DO IT? Manning, in an Internet chat with Lamo, said he would come into work with music on a recordable CD labeled “something like ‘Lady Gaga’” then erase the music and download the data from the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network, known as SIPRNet. Manning said he “listened and lip-synced to Lady Gaga’s Telephone while exfiltratrating possibly the largest data spillage in (A)merican history,” according to a transcript of his Internet chats with Lamo, the details of which were confirmed by Lamo to Reuters and which were published by Wired Magazine. HAS HE BEEN FORMALLY LINKED TO WIKILEAKS? US officials have been at pains to avoid directly linking Manning to WikiLeaks, and refuse to discuss the case, citing the official investigation. The whistle-blowing website itself does not appear in the charge sheet provided to the public. But in his Internet chats with Lamo, Manning acknowledges giving materials to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. He wrote to Lamo: “im a high profile source ... and i’ve developed a relationship with assange” DID HE ACT ALONE? Lamo told Reuters he believed US investigators were also looking at people close to Manning with ties to WikiLeaks. “I didn’t believe he had the technological ... expertise to pull this off by himself,” Lamo said. — Reuters

WikiLeaks may set back US intelligence sharing By Phil Stewart


he damaging disclosure by whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks of sensitive US diplomatic cables could put a chill on the sharing of intelligence considered vital to waging war and averting AlQaeda attacks. Nine years after the Sept 11 attacks ushered in a new age of US intelligence sharing, the website’s release of some 250,000 sensitive diplomatic cables is raising accusations that too much US intelligence is being shared with too many people - in an age when digital data is too easy to steal. The full extent of the diplomatic fallout is still unclear but the leaks threaten to erode trust of crucial US allies, who justifiably may now fear speaking candidly with Washington if those private revelations might be made public. From a global perspective, the system now in place to guard US secrets has lost credibility and Washington may need

to take major steps to show its secrets are safe, observers say. “This is a colossal failure by our intel community, by our Department of Defense, to keep classified information secret,” said Peter Hoekstra, the top Republican on the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee. “This database should never have been created. Hundreds of thousands of people should not have been provided access to it,” he told CBS’s Morning Show. US officials, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, believe that WikiLeaks data from the latest leak and previous dumps of hundreds of thousands of Afghan and Iraq war logs were gleaned from the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network, known as SIPRNet. The network gives access to documents at a lower level of secrecy to US national security officials, including the Defense Department and State Department. — Reuters

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Iran may have to deal with unveiled Arab ‘hostility’ By Laurent Maillard


ranian officials have scoffed at WikiLeaks documents showing calls by Arab leaders for the destruction of Tehran’s nuclear program, but analysts and observers say this unveiled hostility may indeed impact on Iran’s foreign policy. US diplomatic memos from Arab countries in the Gulf released by whistleblower WikiLeaks over the past few days uncover a fixation on the Iranian nuclear threat as well as fear that regional conflict is inevitable. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad set the official line on Monday by dismissing the documents as “worthless” and a “mischief”, insisting Tehran’s ties with its Arab neighbors would not be affected. Iran’s foreign ministry yesterday branded the revelations a “suspicious plot” and called on Arab neighbors across the Gulf not to fall into the whistleblower’s “trap.” “The enemies of the Islamic world are pursuing a project of Iranophobia and disunity,” foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said. But Ahmadinejad’s reaction, which is similar to that of many other world leaders, may prove hard to sustain, several diplomats and analysts said. “The WikiLeaks documents have not unveiled anything. Iranians have long been aware of the sentiments of Arab countries in the Gulf,” a Tehran-based Western diplomat said. “But having written proof that your neighbors are encouraging your enemy to attack you

leaves its mark,” he said. According to leaked memos, the majority of Arab leaders in the Gulf have pressed the United States to halt Iran’s nuclear program, with Saudi King Abdullah calling for a US military attack to “cut off the head of the snake.” The diplomat said the “timing is very bad” too as the revelations come as Tehran appeared to be on course to

improve its historically strained ties with Riyadh. In a rare move, Ahmadinejad spoke to King Abdullah by telephone twice in recent weeks on sensitive regional issues such as Lebanon and Iraq. The revelations “will not make things easy” for Iran’s foreign policy, the diplomat said. Several Iranian papers have also not been as dismissive as Ahmadinejad, and carried sting-

ing commentaries and expressed concern yesterday. “The publication of these documents heralds a worrying situation for Iran in the near future,” moderate conservative daily Mellat-e Ma wrote in a commentary. “If they are authentic, Iran is facing an undeclared war by its neighbors who want a confrontation between Iran and America and see themselves as

beneficiaries of that face-off,” it said. Leading reformist paper Shargh wrote “there was no need for a leak of US state department documents to see the deep hostility of many Arab countries especially the Arabian Gulf Arab states towards Iran. “But the leaked documents confirm all these speculations. Analysts for years have warned

against the deepening gap between Iran and Arabian Gulf Arab states especially their godfather Saudi Arabia,” it added. Moderate English-language daily Iran News said the WikiLeaks documents highlight the risks of a conflict in the region and “how frightened the Arab world is of Iran’s rising ambitions and its nuclear program.” — AFP

Key new WikiLeaks revelations


he activist website WikiLeaks continued to publish a series of stolen US State Department cables yesterday, embarrassing Washington and riling foreign governments exposed in the documents. In each case the source is a State Department memo, most of them records of encounters with foreign officials, obtained by WikiLeaks and published on the group’s website: The United States has condemned the leaks as a criminal act but has not disputed the authenticity of the published transcripts, which have been chosen for publication by reporters from major world dailies. The leaks began on Sunday and have already covered several major diplomatic crises, in particular the nuclear stand-off with Iran and allegations of US spying on the UN. The following are the latest major revelations:

CHINA LOSES PATIENCE WITH N KOREA China is exasperated with North Korea and some in Beijing feel their erratic neighbor is losing strategic value and will one day reunite with

South Korea. Last year, the Chinese ambassador to Kazakhstan, Cheng Guoping, told a US envoy that Beijing regards North Korea’s nuclear program as “very troublesome.” The ambassador “said China hopes for peaceful reunification in the long-term, but he expects the two countries to remain separate in the short-term.”

movements after their release. “I’ve just thought of something,” Abdullah blurted during a March 2009 meeting with White House counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan. The king proposed the prisoners be implanted with electronic microchips so that after their release they can be tracked “with Bluetooth” technology.

KUWAIT: ‘DUMP TERROR SUSPECTS IN AFGHANISTAN’ Kuwait’s interior minister told a US ambassador his country did not want Kuwaiti terror suspects held in Guantanamo Bay to return. The exchange between Sheikh Jaber Khaled Al-Sabah and the US envoy to Kuwait, which took place in February last year.”If they are rotten, they are rotten and the best thing to do is get rid of them,” the minister said. “You picked them up in Afghanistan: You should drop them off in Afghanistan, in the middle of the war zone.”

EGYPT: ‘FORGET DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ’ Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak advised the United States in 2008 to “forget” about democracy in Iraq and allow a dictator to take over.Mubarak made the comments during talks with visiting US congressmen to whom he also admitted that he was “terrified” by the possibility of a nuclear Iran. Now that they had troops in mainly Shiite Iraq, American troops should not withdraw because that would only serve to strengthen Shiite Iran next door. “You cannot leave,” he said. “Strengthen the armed forces, relax your hold, and then you will have a coup. Then we will have a dictator, but a fair one. “Forget democracy, the Iraqis by their nature are too tough.”

SAUDI ARABIA: ‘TAG TERROR SUSPECTS’ Saudi King Abdullah proposed implanting Guantanamo detainees with electronic chips to monitor their

KARZAI PARDONS DRUG SMUGGLERS Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered the release of numerous dangerous criminals and drug traffickers detained by US-led coalition forces. American officials repeatedly rebuked the president and Afghan attorney general Muhammad Ishaq Alko for authorizing the release of detainees. In an August 2009 cable, American officials said that since 2007, 150 of the 629 detainees transferred to Afghan custody had been released without trial. It said Karzai had pardoned five border policemen in April 2009 who were caught with 124 kilograms (273 pounds) of heroin in their police vehicle.

PRINCE CHARLES GETS LESS RESPECT THAN QUEEN Britain’s Prince Charles “does not command the same respect” as Queen Elizabeth II, said Amitav Banerji, Commonwealth political affairs director. According to a US political officer in London, in June 2009, Banerji said the 54-nation organization wants to persuade Charles to play a greater role. — AFP

Swiss votes need tweaks to limit ‘majority tyranny’ By Emma Thomasson


he furor over Swiss votes curbing the rights of Muslims and foreigners should not put off governments testing the usefulness of referendums which can strengthen social cohesion and consensus, proponents say. Switzerland caught the world’s attention again on Sunday when it voted for the automatic expulsion of foreigners who have committed crimes, sparking violent protests a year after a referendum banned the building of new minarets. Both initiatives, driven by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP), could fall foul of European anti-discrimination law, prompting criticism that populist campaigns are hijacking referendums and threatening the country’s reputation. They also coincide with efforts by the European Union to introduce citi-

zens’ initiatives next year amid widespread public anxiety over immigration. “We must protect direct democracy from the tyranny of the majority,” said Social Democrat Andreas Gross, who opposed both initiatives and is campaigning to prevent future Swiss votes on plans which could infringe human rights or international law. But Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey said the EU should not be put off by the risks of populist campaigns as direct democracy forced rulers to get closer to the people. “Everybody plays a role in the state and can’t detach themselves. The state isn’t others. The state is us,” she said in a speech this month in Brussels. Even the vote to ban new minarets last year, which the Swiss government campaigned against, had value, she said. “Its acceptance forced Swiss politicians to actively confront the worries and fears of the population.”

UNITY IN DIVERSITY A Bern University study into Alexis de Tocqueville’s warning of the “tyranny of the majority” showed that 58 percent of Swiss votes in the last 50 years relevant to minorities were actually in favor of the rights of minorities, like the disabled. “There is little evidence for a ‘tyranny of the masses’ here, as Switzerland ... is built on the very idea of unity in diversity,” said Bianca Rousselot, a Bern University researcher. However, the study showed minorities perceived as poorly integrated like Muslims often suffer in referendums, prompting calls for the system to be tweaked to allow initiatives to be vetted so they do not undermine human rights laws. “Direct democracy generally functions excellently. It’s just that certain subjects are emotionalized and don’t work so well because the debate is no

longer sensible,” said Daniel Thuerer, Zurich University professor of public law. “We need to change the procedure so that when a few people sit in a pub and write a proposal, the text can be checked by lawyers to make sure it is compatible with the rule of law.” Switzerland has the world’s longest tradition of direct democracy, introduced in 1848 under the constitution that established the modern Swiss state in an attempt to unite a country divided by language and religion after a civil war. A Swiss citizen can vote on dozens of local or state issues each year and in up to four national referendums. Since 1848, the country has held 553 national votes, with 275 approved. More than half of those have been held in the last 30 years, mirroring a global trend for more popular votes, with recent examples including Turkey’s referendum on a new constitution and Sudan’s planned

plebiscite on its division into two states. “Subjects of a problematic nature, that are extremist or racist, get bigger headlines than everyday issues. Many of the votes in Switzerland never make the headlines,” said Bruno Kaufmann, president of the Initiative & Referendum Institute Europe which campaigns for more direct democracy. GRASS ROOTS POWER Research even suggests that Swiss direct democracy promotes leaner government, lower tax evasion, stronger economic growth and higher subjective wellbeing. Thuerer of Zurich University contrasted public acceptance of a big construction project around the city’s railway station after a long discussion process with violent German protests against a plan to redevelop Stuttgart’s train station. “Swiss integration is bottom up. — Reuters


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

13 focus

Did smugglers help North Korea’s nuke drive? By Fredrik Dahl


orth Korea’s new revelations about its nuclear program have demonstrated how hard it is to stop the smuggling of nuclear equipment and know-how. The secretive state gave details of an expanded nuclear program yesterday, adding to revelations made to an invited US scientist several weeks ago. It said it was operating a plant with thousands of centrifuges, which are used to refine uranium to fuel power plants or, in a much longer process, to produce the material for nuclear warheads. Experts say the North almost certainly needed help to obtain components secretly from several sources over many years. “I don’t think there is any question that the Korean case points to a continuation of this illicit trade,” said Mark Hibbs of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He said the dismantling of a network run by the Pakistani nuclear scientist A Q Khan some seven years ago had not ended the black market in the technology needed for such plants. In the world’s biggest nuclear proliferation scandal, Khan confessed in 2004 to selling nuclear secrets to North Korea, Iran and Libya. Hibbs said he believed some of the people linked to his operation were still active. “The overwhelming motivation for these people to get involved in this activity is greed.” PEDDLING PERIL In his book Peddling Peril, published this year, proliferation expert David Albright says that the global spread of technology and rapid growth in global trade have made life easier for nuclear smugglers. “It’s simpler now to obtain the materials, equipment and know-how to produce nuclear weapons than it was 10 years ago,” he writes, “and could be simpler still 10 years from now.” Mark Fitzpatrick at the International Institute for Strategic Studies

TEHRAN: This photo released by the Iranian army, claims to show the launching of a Shahin missile in armed forces war games. A US intelligence assessment concludes that Iran has received advanced North Korean missiles capable of targeting Western European capitals and giving the Islamic Republic’s arsenal a significantly farther reach than previously disclosed. — AP cautioned that it was not clear exactly when the North had received help from abroad. He said Pakistan had provided training, centrifuge models and a list of components and suppliers before the Khan network was broken up. “I expect that it got most of what it needed before UN sanctions and heightened US-led interdiction efforts kicked in,” Fitzpatrick said. “But many of the worldwide suppliers from whom Khan procured

parts remained in business.” The Institute for Science and International Security, a think-tank headed by Albright, said in a report in October that North Korea often procured for its enrichment program either directly in China or by using it as a transit point. Even though most believe China views the North’s nuclear arms program as destabilizing to the region, the report said Beijing was not

doing enough to detect and halt such trade. US diplomatic cables published by the website WikiLeaks indicate that the United States has complained to Beijing about the shipment of missile components from North Korea to Iran via China, according to Britain’s Guardian. NUCLEAR TESTS Yesterday, a North Korean newspaper

said construction of a new light-water nuclear reactor was in progress and “a modern uranium enrichment plant equipped with several thousands of centrifuges, to secure the supply of fuels, is operating”. The uranium centrifuges could provide North Korea’s second source of weapons-grade material, and Washington is particularly worried that it could sell this to other states. The North already has a plutoniumbased nuclear device and carried out two nuclear test explosions in 2006 and 2009, even though it has not shown it has a working nuclear bomb. It was not possible to verify Pyongyang’s latest claims, as inspectors from the UN-nuclear watchdog based in Vienna were expelled from the country last year. But the report is likely to increase concern among Western officials about the possible existence of more nuclear sites- in North Korea or elsewhere-which they do not know about. Iran last year said it was building a second enrichment plant inside a mountain bunker after keeping the site secret from the International Atomic Energy Agency for three years. Iran says it is enriching uranium to fuel a planned network of nuclear power plants, but major powers suspect it, too, is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. “There must be other locations with enrichment activities in North Korea,” Olli Heinonen, who resigned in August as head of the UN nuclear watchdog’s inspections worldwide, told Reuters. “To reach this stage, they must have gone through a fairly comprehensive R&D (research and development) stage using nuclear materials,” said Heinonen, who is now at Harvard University. US intelligence reports have said a Syrian site bombed by Israel in 2007 was a nascent North Korean-designed nuclear reactor intended to produce bomb fuel. — Reuters

Euro zone breaks taboo with sovereign default plan By Luke Baker


nder intense market pressure, the European Union has unveiled details of a permanent system for resolving future debt crises, breaking a taboo on euro zone sovereign states ever needing to restructure their debts. A combination of Franco-German political willessential to any EU accord-detailed input from the European Commission and the private sector, and guidance from the European Central Bank’s president helped clinch a deal at a critical moment. But despite the angst and sweat that has gone into drawing up the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), financial markets appear unconvinced that it will clear up Europe’s debt hole. Since Germany and France agreed in Deauville, France, on Oct 18 that they wanted a permanent system for handling debt crises, there has been mass uncertainty in financial markets about what impact it would have on private holders of sovereign bonds, an uncertainty that aggravated the current crisis. On Sunday, France and Germany came together again, this time in closer coordination with others, to put flesh on the bones of the ESM-a radical system for handling euro zone sovereign defaults or restructurings from mid2013 on. The IMF-backed mechanism would hardly have been thinkable a year ago. But the debt crisis has overhauled thinking. The very idea of a European sovereign defaulting, like some 1980s Latin American or 1990s Asian emerging economy, is no longer taboo. The 16 countries that share the euro single currency-some of the world’s largest and most stable economies-will now have a fixed system for handling default, with private bondholders sharing the cost with taxpayers. “If you had asked me a year ago, I would have said such an idea was impossible,” said Andre Sapir, a

senior fellow at Bruegel, a leading Brussels think-tank, and the co-author of a paper this month whose ideas were incorporated in the ESM. “One is now accepting an idea which itself is an incredible leap-that a euro area country’s debt may be restructured. That was unthinkable, it was something just for emerging countries. In that sense, this is a real revolution.” FRANCO-GERMAN ALLIANCE Without Germany and France, the two

largest European economies and the traditional drivers of the European Union, working closely together, a deal acceptable to the other 14 euro zone member states would probably not have been possible. According to French officials, they were responsible for convincing Germany that the original idea of private bondholders facing automatic writedowns-also dubbed haircuts-in a restructuring had to be softened to keep financial markets onside and support the euro.

“Yesterday, we achieved something almost as important as the aid to Ireland,” said Economy Minister Christine Lagarde. “That is we managed, thanks to the determination of the president, to convince Merkel to put in place (softer) rules regarding the private sector.” But it is also clear that other euro zone countries had input. Finland, for example, was the first to say collective action clauses, which compel minority bondholders to accept majority holders’ position, should be part of all new

Spain’s banks seen as weak link in crisis By Paul Day


ounting bad loans, competition for funds and exposure to wobbly Portugal make Spain’s banks a potential liability as the country fights to avoid an Ireland-style bailout. A burst property bubble also weighs on the sector, but the immediate worry is over the spring of next year when both the banks and the government will be in the market for a combined 50 billion euros ($66 billion) of funding. “Problems may well arise when banks need to turn over debt at the same time as the government if confidence remains low,” said Javier Bernat, analyst at Caja Madrid. A wave of consolidation and conservative rules have supported the banks so far, but after Ireland accepted an 85 billion euro aid package, investors are turning their eyes to Portugal and Spain. In the larger economy, mid-size banks such as Banco Sabadell and Banco Pastor are seen as potentially the most vulnerable. They were frozen out of European interbank markets earlier this year, and are not as diversified as global giants BBVA and Santander.

Capital requirements for Spanish banks have traditionally been more stringent than in other countries and the average core Tier 1 capital of the sector was 7.7 percent under a crisis scenario in July’s Europe-wide stress tests. But the bar has been raised for all banks since then, as new capital rules have been agreed, leaving Spanish banks looking less well capitalized than many international rivals. The weakest link in Spain’s banking system are regionally focused savings banks-who had an average core Tier 1 capital ratio of only 5.5 percent in the stress tests. They have already gone through a forced consolidation process that has cost the government 15 billion euros in credit lines. Shares in Santander, the euro zone’s biggest bank, sagged 3 percent to an 18-month low on Tuesday as worries about the sector grew. Spain’s economy is larger than those of fellow euro zone peripheral countries Ireland, Greece and Portugal combined, and if it spirals into a debt crisis despite progress cutting its budget deficit, a bailout would strain the European Union’s safety net. With the

economy stagnant and spending cuts landing, market jitters over possible bank funding problems have pushed up financing costs for Spain to euro-zone lifetime highs of about 5.4 percent for 10-year sovereign bonds. Another source of concern is heavy exposure to Portugal, which is seen as the next euro zone trouble spot. Spanish banks had a $108 billion exposure to Portugal at the end of March, according to Bank of International Settlements data. SPRING CRUNCH Spain’s government faces a bond redemption at the end of April of 15.5 billion euros in competition with the banks, which are also looking to refinance around 35 billion euros, according to analysts at Barclays Capital. “We are concerned that tapping the markets for more than 50 billion euros in March and April represents a substantial level of execution risk,” the analysts said in a note, adding the situation would worsen in 2012. Banks also face mounting credit losses, aggravated by stubbornly high unemployment, which Barclays estimates could hit 200 billion euros over the next few years. — Reuters

euro zone debt issuance. Such clauses will be necessary from June 2013. Euro zone sources say there was also critical input from the European Commission, the EU executive, which led conference calls with the ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet and the chair of the Eurogroup, Jean-Claude Juncker, on Sunday morning. In all the discussions, Trichet, who has perhaps the most experience of speaking to the financial markets and charting a course through crisis, was an indispensible voice. “He is a man with huge experience in a crisis, and he has a job that gives him huge credibility. Given the combination of the two, I would say, yes, he is playing a very important role,” said Sapir. “And the Commission too,” he added. MARKETS REMAIN UNCERTAIN But the question remains whether it will calm the storm. More details of how the European Stability Mechanism will work will be discussed by EU finance ministers at a meeting on Dec 6-7, and EU leaders are expected to sign off on the final elements of the mechanism at a summit in Brussels on Dec 16-17. The mechanism does not come into force until mid-2013, and will be reviewed by the Commission and ECB in 2016. In the meantime, there is plenty of time for pressure to be piled on periphery euro zone debt, particularly Portuguese and Spanish bonds, as was the case on Monday. Some financial market analysts expressed optimism on Monday about the ESM and how it would work. “Overall, there is a lot of positive news for the market in the statement” on the ESM, said Jens Larsen, chief European economist at RBC Capital Markets. But Mark Grant, managing director of corporate syndicate and structured debt products at Southwest Securities in Florida, remains skeptical the ESM can clear up the debt mess. — Reuters

Ties binding China and North Korea C

hina, North Korea’s only major ally, hosts from yesterday the chairman of the North’s rubber stamp parliament, as part of a flurry of diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving the crisis on the Korean peninsula. Choe Thae-Bok, the chairman of the North’s Supreme People’s Assembly and secretary of the Workers Party’s Central Committee, is the most senior visitor from Pyongyang since the confrontation between the South and North flared last week. After an initial muted response to North Korea’s deadly artillery attack on a South Korean island, China called for emergency talks among the heads of the countries in the stalled six-party talks amid increasing global pressure to rein in reclusive Pyongyang. Here are some facts about ties between the two countries. COMRADES-IN-ARMS Communist China was a key backer of North Korean Communist forces in the Korean War, and sent soldiers across the border into Korea from October 1950. After the 1953 armistice, China kept supporting North Korea, helping with its rebuilding. In 1961, the two countries signed a treaty that calls for either to aid the other if attacked. It remains in force, but its potential application is ambiguous. Following China’s rapprochement with the West and then its establishment of formal diplomatic ties with South Korea in 1992, ties between Beijing and Pyongyang frayed. In recent years, China has sought to shore up relations and increased aid to its poor neighbor, which it sees as a strategic buffer against the United States

and its allies. In early May, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-il visited China on his first trip abroad since 2006, and he visited again in late August, ahead of the anointment of his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, as heirapparent in the dynastic one-party state. But several media reports citing leaked US State Department cables have cast doubt on that close relationship. The cables say that some Chinese officials do not regard North Korea as a useful ally and would not intervene if the reclusive state collapsed. NUCLEAR DIPLOMACY China has pressed North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons, and the issue has produced cracks in their relationship. China has sought to defuse confrontation by hosting six-party nuclear disarmament talks since August 2003. The now-stalled negotiations bring together North and South Korea, China, the United States, Japan and Russia. In October 2006, North Korea held its first nuclear test explosion, defying public pleas from China. Beijing condemned the test and supported a UN Security Council resolution that authorized sanctions against North Korea. After the North’s second nuclear test on May 25, 2009, Beijing backed a Security Council resolution authorizing more sanctions on Pyongyang, including a ban on its arms exports. In April 2009, North Korea said it was quitting the six-party talks and reversing nuclear “disablement” steps, unhappy with implementation of an initial disarmament deal reached in 2007. North Korea has been retreating from its earlier public renunciation of the talks, but there are no plans for their resumption.

South Korea and the US say resuming the talks will be impossible until North Korea makes concessions over the recent sinking of one of Seoul’s warships and shows it is serious about nuclear disarmament. A USbased think-tank, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), has said North Korea used China as a transshipment point to obtain technology for a uranium enrichment facility that was shown to a visiting US nuclear scientist. China sent a senior diplomat, State Councillor Dai Bingguo, to meet South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak last weekend. Both countries expressed their anxieties about tensions in the Korean peninsula, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said. Dai’s visit follows Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi’s meeting with North Korean ambassador Ji Jae Ryong in Beijing last week and telephone conversations with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, during which Yang called for calm on the Korean peninsula. Akitaka Saiki, Japan’s chief envoy to the six-party talks, left for China yesterday to discuss North Korea-related matters with a senior Chinese diplomat, Wu Dawei, Japan’s Foreign Ministry said. SHIP SINKING The sinking of a South Korean navy ship on March 26 deepened tensions between Pyongyang and Seoul and hurt Chinese ties with South Korea. South Korea lost 46 sailors when its navy ship, the Cheonan, sank. Seoul said an inquiry found there was no doubt North Korea torpedoed the ship, but Pyongyang denied it was responsible. China stayed low-key about the dis-

pute, reflecting its desire to stay friendly with both North and South Korea. Beijing’s approach irked Seoul, which wanted heavier pressure on Pyongyang. In July, China backed a UN Security Council statement that condemned the sinking but stopped short of blaming North Korea. Beijing was later angered by joint US-South Korea naval exercises that those two countries said were aimed at warning North Korea. Beijing said those exercises could threaten its security and regional stability. Last Friday, Beijing warned again against military acts near its coast as US and South Korean forces prepared for exercises in the Yellow Sea to deter North Korea. ECONOMIC FLOWS China’s trade and aid are crucial to North Korea’s survival. In 2009, trade between China and North Korea was worth $2.7 billion, down 4 percent from 2008, according to Chinese customs statistics. In 2009, China’s bilateral trade with South Korea was worth $156.2 billion. REFUGEES China’s 1,415-km border with North Korea includes stretches of rivers that freeze over in winter, and in past years many North Korean refugees have crossed over, sometimes then making their way to other countries and then South Korea. Outside groups have earlier estimated their numbers to be from tens of thousands to 300,000. Beijing worries that economic collapse or political turmoil in North Korea could unleash a surge of refugees into China. — Reuters

Obama and Republicans: deals and confrontations By Jim Kuhnhenn


n the first test of Washington’s new political alignment, President Barack Obama will meet with Republican leaders Tuesday with US tax rates and a nuclear arms treaty in doubt. Neither side expects final deals from an hourlong encounter, but the sparring could have major consequences, both short- and long-term. The expiring Bush-era tax cuts are the more pressing matter. Without quick action, taxpayers face sharp increases next year as the rates would return to levels set during the Clinton administration. Discussions are expected to center on a temporary extension that would put off the partisan clash over the biggest disagreement: whether to extend current rates permanently to all or to raise them for higher-income taxpayers. The private, late-morning White House meeting with top lawmakers from both parties is fraught with potential and hazards, both for the immediate work left before Congress adjourns this year and for the relationship between Obama and congressional Republicans during the next two years. Republicans caught a wave of voter disenchantment with the economy on Nov 2 and wrested control of the House of Representatives from the Democrats in elections at the middle of Obama’s first four-year term. They also expanded their minority in the Senate. The new lineup presents a dramatically different dynamic for Obama. Although he pledged during his presidential campaign to bridge partisan divides, he ended up passing the big initiatives of his first two years with virtually no Republican support. “My hope is that tomorrow’s meeting will mark a first step toward a new and productive working relationship,” Obama said Monday, “because we now have a shared responsibility to deliver for the American people on the issues that define not only these times but our future.” That comment came as he announced a two-year pay freeze for civilian government workers, a step hailed by Republicans and sharply criticized by Democratic allies such as the AFL-CIO labor union confederation. The most immediate challenges for Congress’ postelection year-ending session are considering whether Congress will extend the tax rates and the Senate will ratify a new treaty to reduce nuclear weapons arsenals in the United States and Russia represent the most immediate challenges. Republicans want all the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts to be extended permanently. Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress want to extend them only for individual taxpayers making less than $200,000 and couples making less than $250,000 Rep Eric Cantor of Virginia, who will become the House Republican majority leader in January, accused the president of engaging in “class warfare.” “This country is about making sure everyone has a fair shot,” he said in an interview. Obama and his top aides have insisted that he will not approve an extension of upper income rates that is permanent, a potential opening for a short-term extension. Democrats are themselves divided on the tax rate question, with some arguing no taxes should be allowed to increase during a weak economic recovery. At the same time, a number of liberal billionaires have weighed into the debate, arguing they should not benefit from a continuation of their current rates. Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, a conservative Democrat who is often in the middle of Senate legislative bargains, said all tax cuts should be extended for at least two years, but making them permanent would put too great a strain on the federal deficit. Republican senators including South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint, the latter a hero of the ultraconservative tea party movement, say a temporary extension of the tax rates might be the best they can get. Despite their political gains, Republicans are approaching Tuesday’s session with some apprehension. Presidents typically gain a public relations advantage by inviting leaders of the opposition party to the White House. Many Republicans still bristle at last February’s health care summit that Obama called. Democrats got more time to make their case than Republicans, and the session yielded no Democratic compromises. “In the past, when we have private meetings with the president, he has rarely missed the opportunity to lecture us for our political or ideological beliefs,” Cantor said. “I’m hopeful that those days are gone.” Obama’s ability to compromise is further complicated by the internal politics within each of the parties. The House lost many of its moderates in this month’s elections, leaving behind a more liberal caucus. Republicans, are keenly aware of a tea party movement that punished members of their party who were seen as too willing to cross party lines. Patrick Griffin, who served in the Clinton White House as assistant to the president for legislative affairs, said cooperation will emerge only if the bipartisan White House meetings continue. But he said the tenor set by this meeting will demonstrate whether the two sides can work together. The White House repeatedly has pointed to remarks by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that the main goal of Republicans over the next two years is to assure Obama’s re-election defeat. “I was dismayed when I saw Sen McConnell’s comments,” chief White House political adviser David Axelrod said. “There will be plenty of time for elections.” White House officials see incoming Republican Speaker John Boehner as a possible partner. They cite him as a potential broker with other Republicans on legislation that reauthorizes the No Child Left Behind education law. They also say they were encouraged by Boehner’s acknowledgment that Congress will have to confront the question of raising the national debt limit “as adults,” despite opposition from some newly elected Republicans. “No doubt there are interesting dynamics,” Axelrod said. “There are people who say they want to take steps to deal with our long-term debt issues; we’ll work with anyone who wants to work with us on that in a productive way.” — AP



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A leap from dark ages to modern era: Oman

MUSCAT: Omani tribesmen march during a parade at a stadium in Muscat marking 40 years since Omani ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said took the throne. — AFP

MUSCAT: Oman is lavishly celebrating this week the 40th anniversary of the reign of Sultan Qaboos who has hauled his country out of the dark age of isolation and turned it into a modern state. “It’s a celebration of the shift from the middle ages to the modern era,” Information Minister Hamad bin Mohammad Al-Rashdi told reporters, recalling what Oman was like before Sultan Qaboos deposed his father in 1970. “In 1970, there were only three primary schools and eight kilometers of paved roads” in the Gulf sultanate, Rashdi told reporters. Old Omanis recall that back then the capital, Muscat, had no electricity or running water and that the gates of the mediaeval walled city were locked up at dusk. But Oman has come of age since Sultan Qaboos overthrew his father, Sultan Said bin Taymur, in a bloodless coup in 1970, and is no longer an isolated country living on the margins of the modern world. The 2010 UN Human Development Report released in early November states that Oman made the most improvement since 1970, out of 135 countries, ahead of oil kingpin Saudi Arabia which ranked fifth. “The highachieving Arab countries can attribute their success largely to impressive long-term improvements in health and education,” the report’s main author, Jeni Klugman, said. In a gesture reflecting his concern to develop education in his country, and to celebrate 40 years on the throne, Sultan Qaboos has ordered the distribution of laptops as gif ts to 118,000 students across the nation. Oman sits atop proven gas reserves of 660 million cubic meters and produces about 800,000 barrels of oil a day but it is not a member of the OPEC oil cartel, unlike most other Gulf states. The Arabian Peninsula country also produces some three billion cubic feet of

Ramallah looks ever more like the Palestinian capital New buildings include ministerial, presidential offices RAMALLAH: A building frenzy that is transforming Ramallah’s skyline is also consolidating its position as the de facto Palestinian capital. Once a village outside Jerusalem, the West Bank city increasingly appears to be assuming the role marked out for East Jerusalem in the Palestinians’ statehood plans. Smart hotels and apartment blocks are rising from the hilly terrain, a new presidential palace is under construction and the Palestinians are building new ministries for their government rather than continuing to rent out office space. The Palestinian Authority, based in Ramallah since it was set up in 1994, says such projects are cost-driven. Renting is expensive, it says. But the symbolic impor tance is not lost on Palestinians who fear Israeli policies are driving a widening divide between them and the Holy City just over the hills to the south. Establishing sovereignty over East Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Palestinians’ national agenda. But the two-decade old peace process which they hoped would deliver them the city as par t of a state is foundering. Israel, meanwhile, has deepened its control over Jer usalem, which it describes as its “eternal and indivisible” capital, while Ramallah is deepening its roots as the Palestinians’ administrative and economic hub. The PA is building a complex that will house seven ministries. The work, more than half complete, is one sign of Ramallah’s transformation into the PA’s “eternal capital”, said Iyad Al-Barghouti, a critic of PA policy on the issue. New presidential offices are being

constructed at the compound where Mahmoud Abbas and Yasser Arafat before him have presided over the limited self-rule ceded by Israel. Work has started on a new commercial district, the Ersal Center-a $400 million investment envisioned as becoming a centre for Palestinian banking and trade. And this month, Abbas opened new Ramallah headquarters for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which was headquarted in East Jerusalem in the years between its establishment in 1964 and Israel’s capture of the land in 1967. “God willing, the headquarters of the PLO will return to Jerusalem soon,” Abbas said at the Nov 23 opening ceremony of the building, which the PLO is renting. “All of our sovereign headquarters are temporary. The time will come, God willing, to move all of them to Jer usalem,” Abbas said. The Palestinians agree that none of their leaders can give up on Jerusalem, but their attachment collides with Israel’s claim to a city that it has ruled for more than four decades. After its occupation of Arab East Jerusalem in 1967, Israel annexed the newly captured part of the city, including the holy sites, together with a belt of surrounding West Bank land. The annexation has never won international acceptance. US efforts to revive peace talks between the sides have partly foundered over the issue of Israeli constr uction on annexed land around Jerusalem-the Palestinians demanding a full halt to Jewish building there before any more negotiations. The Palestinians say Israel’s settlement expansion is part of a strategy designed to squeeze them

out of the city. They see the barrier Israel has put up between Jerusalem and surrounding West Bank Palestinian towns as part of the strategy. Israel started building the barrier on security grounds during the Palestinian Intifada, or uprising, earlier this decade. Isolated from its traditional Palestinian hinterland, Arab East Jerusalem is in economic decline. The situation in Ramallah, just 20 km away, could not be more different, thanks in large part to generous financial support from Western donors. The din of construction and a plethora of new cars are signs of economic growth estimated at 9 percent in the first half of the year. Ramallah’s first five star hotel, a Movenpick that dwarfs surrounding buildings, opened for business this month. “On the psychological and practical level Ramallah has become the eternal capital of the Palestinian Authority,” said Barghouti, a sociologist who lectures at the Palestinian university of Birzeit, in the West Bank just outside Ramallah. “The Authority is acting in a way that gives the impression that Ramallah is the capital of the state. It’s not just a matter of whether they rent or build or buy, but the way they have focused the institutions of the PA in Ramallah,” he said. During a recent visit to East Jerusalem, a diplomat who once worked in Israel and the Palestinian territories noticed how much had changed in the space of a few years. “East Jerusalem used to be the place where the Palestinian elite lived. The business and intellectual high flyers were all here, but now Ramallah is where it’s at. Here it is dead, which is so sad,” he said. — Reuters

Islands fear ‘end of history’ Islanders want tougher UN temperature target CANCUN: Some low-lying island nations face the “end of history” due to rising sea levels unless the world takes stronger action to slow global warming, a spokesman said at UN climate talks. Kiribati, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands, the Marshall Islands and the Maldives were most at risk, said Antonio Monteiro Lima, a delegate of Cape Verde who is vice-chair of the 43-member Alliance of Small Island States. “All these countries are at this moment struggling to survive ... they are facing the end of history,” he told a news conference on the opening day of Nov 29 to Dec 10 negotiations among almost 200 nations on slowing global warming. Island states say that storm surges are eroding

beaches, blowing salt water onto farmland and contaminating fresh water supplies. In the longer term, they fear that rises in sea levels will wash them off the map. AOSIS reiterated demands that the Cancun talks should work out a legally binding treaty by the end of 2011 to limit any temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times. That target is far tougher than a 2C ceiling set by most other nations in a non-binding Copenhagen Accord agreed at a 2009 summit. Goals for Cancun are modest, including setting up a new “green fund” to aid poor nations. “We have clear scientific evidence, from sea level rise through desertification, of the impact on small, vulnerable countries,” said Dessima

Williams of Grenada, who chairs AOSIS at the talks. She said AOSIS would on Dec 8 announce details of a deal to promote lowcarbon economic growth for 17 small island states, backed by a group of developed nations as part of “fast-start” aid for the poor meant to total $30 billion from 2010-21. The UN panel of climate scientists said in a 2007 report that seas were likely to rise between 18 and 59 cms this century, before accounting for the possibility of a change in the melt rates or Greenland and Antarctica. Seas rose by about 17 cms in the 20th century, a trend the panel blamed on emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly from burning fossil fuels. — Reuters

MUSCAT: Omani members of the ruling family attend a military parade at a stadium in Muscat on the occasion of the Sultanate’s 40th anniversary. — AFP liquefied natural gas. The discovery of oil in 1967 has certainly played a role in Oman’s transformation of its vast desert territory of 309,500 square kilometers, slightly bigger than Italy. Oman sits across from Iran on the Strait of Hormuz, gateway to the oil-rich Gulf through which an estimated 40 percent of the world’s crude passes. In his first five years in power, Sultan Qaboos had to contend with a longstanding Marxist rebellion in the southern province of Dhofar which he put down with assistance from former protector Britain and regional countries.

Over the years the country has become an increasingly popular tourist destination thanks to a pristine coastline, a rich climate and unique desert landscapes. But the conservative nation, which has kept a more traditional profile than neighboring Gulf States, has yet to fling wide its doors to visitors. “There is no room to open up for mass tourism,” the undersecretary of tourism, Mohammed Al-Tubi, told reporters yesterday. “Tourism is growing slowly but surely,” he said. Tourism currently contributes just 2.9 percent of Oman’s GDP, which is mostly derived from oil revenues.

Oman has strict laws stating that the number of foreign laborers must not exceed one third of its total population, which stands at around 3.4 million. The country’s reserved nature is also evident in the architecture of Muscat, where a royal decree prohibits the construction of buildings taller than 10 storeys. On Monday, Sultan Qaboos marked the 40th anniversary of his rule with Jordan’s King Abdullah II as his guest of honor. Queen Elizabeth II, her husband Prince Philip and Foreign Secretary William Hague have also just completed a short visit. — AFP

Science should find ‘aliens, halt cancer’ LONDON: Nearly half of Britons believe in aliens and almost 80 percent say cancer is the disease which most needs a vaccine, a poll by one of the world’s oldest scientific institutions showed yesterday. Britain’s Royal Society found that 66 percent of respondents to a survey to mark its 350th anniversary said that disease control and eradication should be a top priority for science. Around 53 percent said they would like science to enable them to extend their lifespan. Royal Society President Martin Rees said the lives of modern humans are hugely different from those of our ancestors because of the scientific advances made since the society was founded in 1660,

when science was in its infancy. “Science is an unending quest for understanding and over the coming 350 years our appetite for discovery could see us develop a cure for cancer, a solution to climate change, and even discover extra-terrestrial life,” he said in a statement. In terms of developing new vaccinations - after cancer, preventing HIV/AIDS was seen as important for 60 percent of the 2,000 people surveyed and with malaria 37 percent. “There can be no better way to celebrate the Royal Society’s 350th anniversary than to look to the future of science, built on the foundations of today’s cutting-edge research,” Rees said. Nearly half of people in Britain

(44 percent) believe in the existence of aliens, according to the poll. Over a third think scientists should be actively searching for and attempting to make contact with aliens, a figure that rises to 46 percent for male respondents. However, fewer than one in 10 people believe that space exploration should be a top priority for the scientific community. After health issues, climate change was the next highest priority for the public with a third of those questioned considering it important. This figure rises to 44 percent among 18 to 24-year-olds, suggesting that younger generations are more in tune with the threat of global warming. — Reuters

Judge blocks anti-Sharia measure in US Oklahoma WASHINGTON: A federal judge has ordered the state of Oklahoma not to put into effect a measure that would prohibit state judges from considering Islamic law in deciding cases. In issuing the temporary injunction, Judge Vicky Miles-Lagrange found in favor of a Muslim resident of the state who argued that the ban was a violation of his rights to freedom of religion under the US constitution. The ban was passed November 2 in a state referendum with 75 percent voting in favor of an amendment to the state constitution that would bar judges from considering international law, and specifically Sharia, in reaching judgments. Muneer Awad, head of the local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), filed suit, arguing that the first amendment bars the government from making laws “respecting the establishment of religion.” By singling out Islam and Sharia, the

Oklahoma amendment had transformed the state’s constitution “into an enduring condemnation of plaintiff’s faith,” he maintained. Miles-Lagrange had extended a stay of the amendment on November 22, and on Monday handed down a 15-page decision imposing the injunction until the court rules on the merits of Awad’s claim. “The court grants plaintiff’s request for a preliminary injunction and enjoins defendants from certifying the election results for state question 755 until the court rules on the merits of plaintiff’s claim,” she wrote. “The court finds that plaintiff has shown that he will suffer injury in fact specifically, an invasion of his first amendment rights will be violated by Oklahoma’s official condemnation of his religion/faith,” she said. The decision noted Awad’s argument that Oklahoma courts would not be able to probate his will under the amendment because it would be required to consider Sharia law.

“Furthermore, plaintiff has presented testimony that ‘Sharia law’ is not actually ‘law’ but is religious traditions that provide guidance to plaintiff and other Muslims regarding the exercise of their faith,” it said. “For example, plaintiff stated that marrying more than one wife is permissible in Islam but in the United States where that is illegal, Muslims do not marry more than one wife because Sharia in the United States mandates Muslims to abide by the law of the land and respect the law of their land,” it said. The anti-Sharia measure was passed in one of hundreds of referendums held across the country November 2, including votes on cannabis legalization and puppy farms. During the November 22 hearing, Oklahoma Assistant Attorney General Scott Boughton had argued that the will of the voters needed to be respected. “I would hesitate to paint 70 percent of the voting public as ‘evil’,” Boughton said. — AFP

Government tactic aborts NA meeting Continued from Page 1 government boycotts the session today and is not held, MPs will submit a request to hold a special session to debate the issue. MP Hassan Jowhar said that if the government boycotts the session today, it

will be a real political catastrophe. MP Saleh Al-Mulla blasted the government, but he insisted that a number of MPs are also responsible. MP Mubarak Al-Saifi called on the people to put pressure on MPs to force them attend today’s session, saying that by its action, the gov-

ernment has proved that it has no respect for the National Assembly. MP Maasouma Al-Mubarak however blamed MPs and not the government for foiling the session, saying that the government sent one minister and this is enough for the session to hold legally.

Heavy snow wreaks havoc across Europe Continued from Page 1 warned snow was heading south. A 53year-old man was crushed to death when a recovery truck rolled into two other vehicles in snowy conditions on a motorway near Doncaster in northern England, police said. In Lincolnshire, eastern England, a man died when his car skidded into a ditch. Scotland, on St Andrew’s Day, its national day, recorded the coldest temperature in Britain overnight Monday with the mercury plunging to minus 15 degrees Celsius. Thousands of schoolchildren had to stay at home in Scotland for a second day, while 42 schools were closed in picturesque Cornwall in southwest England because of snow. But the bitter cold in London failed

to deter several thousand students from taking part in the latest demonstration against the government’s plans to raise university tuition fees. In Germany, heavy snowfall blanketed the southern states of Bavaria, BadenWuerttemberg and Saxony and even colder weather is forecast across the country later this week. At Frankfurt airport, even when the runways were cleared of snow, aircraft had to be de-iced, causing further delays. By mid-morning local time, a total of 128 arrivals and 80 departures had been cancelled, with many other flights experiencing significant delays, an airport spokeswoman said. In the eastern German city of Leipzig, a playful snowball fight descended into a violent melee involving more than 500 people. “The black-clad mob threw not

only snow but also firecrackers, bottles and rocks,” a police spokesman said. Police had to intervene to break up the mob and two officers were wounded in the fray late Monday, while the driver of a passing car also fell victim as the mob smashed his windscreen with a beer bottle and injured his arm. The Czech Republic experienced up to 25 centimeters of fresh snow in some cities, causing power cuts and travel disruption. Four people were killed and 80 were injured on the country’s roads. The Polish capital Warsaw was snarled up by huge traffic jams after 30 centimeters of snow fell since Monday. Lorry drivers were stranded in their vehicles for 20 hours near Warsaw after a truck skidded and blocked the road. — AFP



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NHL results/standings Results and standings from the NHL games on Monday. Pittsburgh 3, NY Rangers 1. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF GA PTS Philadelphia 15 6 4 87 61 34 Pittsburgh 16 8 2 79 62 34 NY Rangers 14 11 1 74 69 29 New Jersey 8 14 2 45 69 18 NY Islanders 5 12 5 46 72 15 Northeast Division Montreal 15 8 1 60 47 31 Boston 12 8 2 59 46 26 Ottawa 11 13 1 58 75 23 Buffalo 9 13 3 62 73 21 Toronto 8 11 3 48 61 19 Southeast Division Washington 17 6 2 86 68 36 Tampa Bay 13 8 3 73 78 29 Atlanta 12 9 3 77 72 27 Carolina 10 11 3 71 78 23 Florida 10 12 0 57 57 20 Western Conference Central Division Detroit 15 4 2 73 56 32 Columbus 14 8 0 62 53 28 Chicago 13 11 2 79 74 28 St. Louis 12 7 3 57 57 27 Nashville 9 8 5 51 60 23 Northwest Division Vancouver 12 7 3 68 59 27 Colorado 13 9 1 83 71 27 Minnesota 11 10 2 56 65 24 Calgary 10 12 2 67 69 22 Edmonton 7 12 4 59 89 18 Pacific Division Dallas 14 8 1 68 62 29 Phoenix 11 6 5 66 65 27 Anaheim 12 11 3 66 77 27 San Jose 11 7 4 65 63 26 Los Angeles 13 10 0 63 57 26 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L).

ANAHEIM: Goaltender Jonas Hiller No. 1 of the Ducks makes a save on a shot by Anze Kopitar No. 11 of the Los Angeles Kings during the second period at the Honda Center. The Ducks defeated the Kings 2-0. — AFP

Crosby leads Penguins past Rangers NEW YORK: Sidney Crosby extended his point streak to 13 games and the Pittsburgh Penguins won their seventh straight by beating the New York Rangers 3-1 on Monday. The Penguins, 9-0-1 in their past 10, haven’t lost since falling to the Rangers at home in overtime on Nov. 15. Their previous loss in regulation was Nov. 11 against Boston. It is the Penguins’ longest winning streak since another seven-game run in October 2009. Maxime Talbot scored in the first period, and goals by Kris Letang and Chris Conner in the second stretched Pittsburgh’s lead to 3-0. Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 25 saves to earn his ninth win. Crosby, the leader in votes for the NHL All-Star

game, assisted on Letang’s fifth of the season. He has 12 goals and 14 assists during his point streak and is the league’s scoring leader with 41 points. Marian Gaborik scored for the Rangers. Stars 4, Hurricanes 1 At Raleigh, North Carolina, James Neal scored twice and Kari Lehtonen made 27 saves to lift the surging Dallas Stars over Carolina. Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist while Steve Ott had the other goal for the Stars, who have won four in a row. They’ve earned points in seven of their last eight games to move into first place in the Pacific Division. It was Dallas’ second win ever in Raleigh. Eric Staal scored his third goal in his last four games

and Cam Ward stopped 29 shots for Carolina, which was playing its fourth game in six nights. Oilers 4, Senators 1 At Ottawa, Andrew Cogliano and Gilbert Brule each had a goal and an assist in the third period to lead Edmonton past Ottawa. Martin Gerber made 22 saves to win for the second time in two starts for Edmonton. Tom Gilbert scored a power-play goal late in the second to draw the Oilers even at 1. Cogliano deflected Br ule’s slap shot past Brian Elliott to give Edmonton a 2-1 lead 4:19 into the third. Brule tapped home Cogliano’s centering pass at 12:48 to put the Oilers up 3-1. Dustin Penner assisted on both goals.

Taylor Hall scored into an empty net with 1:55 remaining. Nick Foligno scored in the first for the Senators, who have lost six of eight. Flames 3, Wild 0 At Calgary, Alberta, Miikka Kiprusoff made 32 saves and Jarome Iginla had a goal and an assist in Calgary’s victory over Minnesota. Calgary defenseman Jay Bouwmeester opened the scoring and Niklas Hagman added an insurance goal late in the third period for the Flames, who had lost four of five at home. That was all the offense Kipr usoff needed in his 37th career shutout and third this season. The Wild have lost four of five. They had won seven of the previous eight meetings, including

three straight in Calgary. Ducks 2, Kings 0 At Anaheim, California, Jonas Hiller made 27 saves in his seventh career shutout, rookie defenseman Cam Fowler scored as Anaheim beat the slumping Los Angeles Kings in the first meeting of the annual Freeway Faceoff. Jason Blake scored with 2:24 left and Teemu Selanne had two assists for the Ducks, who have won two straight after a six-game skid. Hiller punctuated his first shutout of the season with a sparkling glove save on Anze Kopitar’s point-blank chance in the final minutes. Jonathan Quick stopped 17 shots for the Kings, who have lost seven of eight after a six-game winning streak. — AP

Ferrari to spare axe, says Montezemolo LONDON: Ferrari will carry out minor tweaks to their Formula One team but no big changes after their failure to win a title this season, president Luca di Montezemolo said on Sunday. Ferrari’s Spanish driver Fernando Alonso ended the year second overall after a strategy error in the final race at Abu Dhabi ended his hopes of a third world championship and crowned Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel instead. The Italian team finished third in the constructors’ standings. “We have very clear targets,” the team website ( quoted Montezemolo as saying at the Ferrari Mondiali event with fans and car owners from around the world at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit in eastern Spain. “Right from Sunday night in Abu Dhabi I immediately tried to console our guys who were crying in the garage, spurring them to immediately look to the future. “Changes within the team? That is not our philosophy, because for years now we have adopted a policy based on dynamic stability,” added the Italian. “A few minor adjustments are possible, but no major upheaval.” Montezemolo paid tribute to Alonso, in his first season with Ferrari after winning his titles with Renault, and Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa. “Alonso was amazing, both on and off the track, determined and full of self-belief, a real driving force,” he said. “I expect a lot from Felipe next year: I am sure he will return to being the man we saw in 2008.” Massa ended the season sixth overall after returning from serious head injuries suffered in a crash in Hungary in July 2009. He missed out on the title in 2008 by a single point to McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton. Montezemolo said he was also happy with team principal Stefano Domenicali’s work in “moving us forward with great ability, spirit and a sense of balance.”— Reuters

Lewis Hamilton in action in this file photo.

Hamilton says McLaren looking good for 2011 LONDON: Briton Lewis Hamilton is impressed by McLaren’s Formula One car for next year’s championship even though it has yet to turn a wheel for real. The team’s 2008 world champion, who ended this season fourth overall with three race wins, spent a day in their simulator at the Woking headquarters on Monday and said he was happy with the virtual test of the MP4-26. “Lots of neat ideas and improvements,” the 25-year-old told his 61,000 followers on social network Twitter.“First time driving the new car and I was happy. KERS and rear wing is trick but felt right at home with it.” Formula One is reintroducing KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) next season after some teams used it in 2009 before agreeing to take it off the cars as part of costsaving measures. Mercedes, who provide McLaren’s engines and KERS,

were generally recognised to have the most effective system in 2009 and both Hamilton and his 2009 world champion team mate Jenson Button have said they expected theirs to be the best again. “Our KERS is the best,” said Hamilton. “It shud (should) deliver.” Button, who did not use KERS on his way to winning the title with Brawn GP, said in a webchat last week that he expected McLaren’s system to more than make up for the loss of the now-banned ‘F-duct’ that McLaren pioneered this year. “I’ve never driven with KERS before but this team used KERS last year and used it well,” said Button, who lost his title to Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel. “I know because they kept coming by me at the start. “They have so much experience in that area that I think we’ll have an advantage, as will Mercedes and Force India

who use Mercedes engines. We’ll have an advantage on Red Bull and Ferrari I think,” added the Briton. Hamilton said he had not taken part in a recent post-season tyre test in Abu Dhabi because both the tyres and cars will change considerably before the start of the championship in March. Pirelli have replaced Bridgestone as Formula One’s sole supplier and are still formulating the construction and compounds. Hamilton said the new tyres were fine but the rears tended to degrade quickly. Meanwhile, Finnish Formula One driver Heikki Kovalainen needed a precautionary trip to hospital after being knocked out in a big crash at the Race of Champions in Duesseldorf on Sunday. The Lotus Racing driver, a former winner of the annual exhibition event, lost control of his Audi R8 sportscar and

ploughed into the barriers and a concrete wall. “Hardcore shunt with throttle jammed and rear suspension damaged, got knocked out, now some medical checkups,” Kovalainen said on his Twitter feed (@H_Kovalainen) before later reporting all was well. His British girlfriend Catherine Hyde, who was a passenger in the car, was unhurt. Portuguese GT racer Filipe Albuquerque was the surprise winner of the event after beating France’s seven times world rally champion Sebastien Loeb in the final. Albuquerque had earlier beaten new Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel, who had himself overcome compatriot and seven times champion Michael Schumacher in the quarter-final, to the disappointment of the home crowd. However, Vettel and Schumacher together won the Nations Cup for the fourth year in a row on Saturday. — Reuters



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Media heaps blame on ‘clueless’ Aussies

MUMBAI: Indian students gather around former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff (center) for a photograph during his visit to the Yusuf Meherali school to donate kits for the school cricket team in Mumbai. Flintoff is on a day-long trip to Mumbai as a brand ambassador of an airline company. —AFP

Afghanistan aim for big time SINGAPORE: Afghanistan’s blazing run to the final of the Asian Games this month has given them a taste of success and now they are gunning for the cricket big time. The team is training in Dubai for the Intercontinental Cup final against Scotland this week and has its eyes on bigger things. “The silver medal has inspired us to try even harder in the International Cup Final. We want to play as much as possible, wherever possible. The aim is to join the big league,” captain Mohammad Nabi said. “It is the passion for the game and our

country that keeps us going,” he added. “Cricket is the fastest growing sport in our country with many thousands of people playing the game or following it on radio and TV. Cricket is now the biggest peaceful movement in Afghanistan.” The Afghans were beaten in the Asian Games final earlier this month by Bangladesh, but beat Pakistan earlier in the tournament. In September, Afghanistan romped to victory in a Twenty20 tournament in Pakistan, beating a team that included Imran Nazir and Rana Naved and under-

lining Afghanistan’s emergence as a serious cricket-playing nation. The International Cup Final is a fiveday match from Dec. 2-6 and is the conclusion of a two-year first class competition among the leading ICC Associate and Affiliate nations. The Afghan team will return home on Dec. 8 to a heroes’ welcome, regardless. “They are a living national treasure and when they return home, Afghanistan will show how much we love them all,” CEO of the Afghanistan Cricket Board Hamid Shinwari said in an ACB statement. —Reuters

BRISBANE: Blame, not credit, was the bitter medicine required after England saved the first Ashes test at the Gabba with a record-breaking second innings, Australia’s media decreed yesterday. Led by Alastair Cook’s unbeaten 235, England batted through two days to rescue a dire position and take a morale boosting draw on Monday at a venue where Australia traditionally puts tourists to the sword. Australian captain Ricky Ponting was once again the whipping boy of a media more used to trumpeting winners and champions than explaining why their team had failed to take more than one wicket in two days of cricket. “Ashes humiliation - Ponting lets Gabba test slip away,” read the front page of the Australian, while Brisbane’s Courier-Mail splashed the word “Clueless” over an unflattering picture of the Australia skipper. “Has Australian cricket really fallen this far? Is the national team really this bad?” Malcolm Conn, who would usually be emptying buckets of scorn over the tourists by this stage of the series, wrote in the Australian. “Not since Allan Border desperately tried to hold together a rabble gutted by South African rebel tours in the mid-1980s has Australian cricket performed so poorly. “Anyone who had the misfortune of watching Australia’s sad-sack effort in the field yesterday could only worry that we’re plumbing those depths again.” It was against Border’s weakened team that England last won the Ashes on Australian soil in 1986-87 but since then the contests have not even been close. Australia’s fast bowlers, in particular the wicketless Mitchell Johnson, as well as fielding and even the Gabba pitch all took a hammering too. The Gabba enjoyed packed houses on the first three days but poor turnouts on the last two saw the home fans outnumbered and outshouted by England’s travelling “Barmy Army”. “I forgot where I was for a moment out there today it was like being back at the Oval or something,” said Ponting, who was roundly booed by the English fans as he took the field to help bat out the match on Monday afternoon. “(But) I think 130,000 people or so turned out to watch the match over the five days and that just goes to show where test cricket is at the moment in Australia.” Low turnouts for later days of test matches are not that unusual when the match looks destined for a draw and when they coincide with working days, but the availability of tickets for Friday’s first day of the Adelaide test will be of more concern. —Reuters

PALLEKELE: Sri Lanka’s Nuwan Kulasekera bowls during a practice session ahead of the third cricket Test match against West Indies. —AP

Sri Lanka, Windies hope weather holds in decider PALLEKELLE: Sri Lanka and the West Indies are hoping a new test ground can provide improved weather as they look for a result in the third and final Test. After two rain-affected draws, the teams head to Pallekelle, a few kilometers from the central city of Kandy, which is Sri Lanka’s eighth and newest test venue. The ground will also host several matches of the 2011 World Cup that Sri Lanka will co-host with India and Bangladesh. “It’s disappointing not to win a test. In Galle we were outplayed by the West Indies but in Colombo we had most of the game under control. If we had at least three and half or four full days’ play a win was possible on that track,” Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara said. Sri Lanka haven’t lost a test series at home since a defeat to Pakistan in 2006 and they will be under pressure to maintain their recent winning record. Sangakkara was confident the pressure will bring the best out of his team.

“It’s a winner take it all situation in the final test. Those are the challenges you have got to accept and enjoy your cricket if you are put in a position like this.” Sangakkara’s 24th test century in the last Test in Colombo elevated him past Indian great Sachin Tendulkar into top spot in the International Cricket Council’s batting rankings. West Indies’ preparations for the match were frustrated Tuesday because their practice session was canceled because of rain. Darren Sammy had promised to lead his team to better performance before the series and has managed to deliver on the pledge during the tour. He was confident the tourists will maintain the form. “Throughout the series there have been many positives for us. Even in the last game we managed to create chances. The most important thing is that the series is still 0-0,” Sammy said. West Indies coach Ottis Gibson also praised the team’s performance on the

tour. “We are still in with a chance, an opportunity to win the series is massive for us especially in the subcontinent. I can’t tell you the last time we won in the subcontinent. To be also in with a chance of winning here still is exciting and all the players are aware of that,” said Gibson. Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakkara (captain), Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Tharanga Paranavitana, Thilan Samaraweera, Anjelo Mathews, Prasanna Jayawardene, Thilina Kandamby, Ajantha Mendis, Suraj Randiv, Rangana Herath, Kaushal Silva, Dammika Prasad, Dilhara Fernando, Thilan Thushara, Suranga Lakmal. West Indies: Darren Sammy (captain), Brendan Nash, Chris Gayle, Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh, Sulieman Benn, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Nelon Pascal, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Shane Shillingford, Devon Smith, Devon Thomas. —AP

Flower in favor of referral system for suspect catches ADELAIDE: England coach Andy Flower yesterday gave his backing to the controversial TV referral system for adjudicating suspect catches in international cricket. Flower is at odds with Ricky Ponting, who was annoyed that England opener Alastair Cook refused to walk after the Australian skipper took what he claimed was a fair catch low to the ground on Monday’s last day of the drawn Gabba Test. Ponting said the referral of disputed catches to inadequate technology was a “blight on the game”. Ponting’s “catch”, when Cook was on 209, was referred to the third umpire but television replays were inconclusive and the English opener went on to make an unbeaten 235. Flower said he did not see how an honesty system was practical in the professional sporting age when he had seen so many catches

claimed by fielders who mistakenly believed they had taken a fair catch. “I’ve always thought that that (an honesty system) is the ideal, however if we did leave it at that, there’d be a lot of catches taken on the bounce that are claimed by fielders,” Flower told reporters. “You can’t always tell whether you’ve taken it cleanly. “I know a number of people of impeccable character that have claimed catches and you can see that it’s bounced and it’s not because they’re trying to cheat, it’s because sometimes you just can’t tell. “So we’ve gone down the road of the TV umpire being used more often and there’s no way it’s going to go backwards, so it would be naive to think that.” Flower indicated he would like to see umpires given the sole right to check with the third umpire about a dismissal. “Whatever system we use is not going to be

perfect and looking for the perfect answer is unrealistic,” he said. “We are getting more decisions right this way, so I think that we should use some sort of referral system. “I’m not sure what the best referral system is, I think it would be interesting to trial a system where the umpires use it themselves.” Ponting said after Monday’s Test that he sought an explanation from the umpires as to what the decision-making process involved when his catch was turned down by the third umpire. “I do feel a little bit annoyed because I think it is a blight on the game that we are trusting in technology that is not good enough to show it,” Ponting said. “I could have got that ball and thrown it up in the air and no one would have asked a question of it. “As soon as they are referred, you pretty much know what the end result is going to be.” —AFP

JAIPUR: New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum plays a shot during a cricket net practice at Jaipur. New Zealand plays against India in the second of the five-match one-day series at Jaipur today. —AP


Wednesday, December 1, 2010


SERBIA: The Serbian Davis Cup team poses before a press conference in Belgrade. France will face Serbia in Davis Cup final match this weekend in Belgrade. (From left) Janko Tipsarevic, Nenad Zimonjic, Viktor Troicki, Bogdan Obradovic, Novak Djokovic and Ilija Bozoljac. — AFP

Djokovic may face Llodra rematch in Davis Cup tie BELGRADE: Michael Llodra hopes his recent victory against Novak Djokovic could land him a singles start for France in the Davis Cup final against Serbia next weekend. Llodra, a doubles specialist, upset the No. 3ranked Djokovic at the Paris Masters earlier this month and is the highest-ranked player on the French team behind Gael Monfils. France captain Guy Forget has until Thursday’s draw to decide who will play. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is out of the Dec. 3-5 final with a knee injury, leaving Llodra to compete with Gilles Simon and Richard Gasquet for a singles spot alongside Monfils. “I’m ready, but it’s up to Forget to decide,” Llodra said. If Djokovic ends up facing the serve-and-volley specialist on Friday, the Serb believes it will be “a completely different game” from the one they

played at the Paris Masters. “I have never played on such a fast surface (as Paris), except maybe on grass,” Djokovic said. “It’s going to be much slower here.” The final will be played on an indoor hard court at Belgrade Arena. “I don’t mind playing him,” Djokovic said. “I have beaten him in the past.” If Llodra is picked for singles, Forget must then decide whether to pick him for the doubles as well. Llodra has played in and won every doubles match on the way to the final, partnering Julien Benneteau or Arnaud Clement. If Forget decides to rest Llodra, Clement could team up with Simon. “All of our players must not be surprised if they are picked to play on Friday,” Forget said. “We will miss Jo, but these guys made it to the final without him, so they deserve to be in the final.” While

Llodra has been France’s key player this year, Serbia has been led by Djokovic, who has won all five of the singles matches he has played against the United States, Croatia and the Czech Republic. “It’s easier to play at home in front of your own crowd, but our real concern is the level of play of Serbian players,” Forget said. “We know about Djokovic, but we are concerned about Viktor Troicki and Janko Tipsarevic.” Serbia captain Bogdan Obradovic is also keeping his No. 2 player secret, with Troicki and Tipsarevic competing. “It will be tough against either Troicki or Tipsarevic on Friday,” Monfils said. Providing the tie is still alive, Monfils is set to face Djokovic on Sunday when the reverse singles are scheduled. The doubles is played on Saturday. — AP

SERBIA: (Left to right) Arnaud Clement, Gael Monfils, Guy Forget, Gilles Simon, Michael Llodra and Richard Gasquet of French Davis Cup team pose prior to a press conference in Belgrade. France will face Serbia in Davis Cup final match this weekend in Serbian capital Belgrade. — AFP

Cancellara joins Schleck brothers’ cycling team PARIS: Four-times world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara has joined the Schleck brothers’ team on a three-year deal, the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project said yesterday. “The Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project is thrilled to announce that it has signed Fabian Cancellara to a contract that will see the Swiss powerhouse riding for the team for the next three years,” the team, who are set to hit the road next year, said in a statement. Swiss Cancellara, who achieved a rare Tour of Flanders Paris-Roubaix classics double this year, is joining from Bjarne

Riis’s Saxo Bank team. “I had many interesting options, but in the end I knew that the project in Luxembourg would have all the ingredients I would need to continue improving myself without skipping a beat,” Cancellara said. “It is a unique mix of familiar personalities with new surroundings which will ensure continuity while instilling a new motivation to make this project the most successful in cycling.” Tour de France runner-up Andy Schleck and his brother Frank also left Saxo Bank at the end of the season to launch their own team and have attracted

several team mates to Luxembourg. The Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project is managed by Brian Nygaard, a former media officer at Saxo Bank and Team Sky. Riis has signed three-times Tour de France champion Alberto Contador, who failed a drugs test for the banned anabolic agent clenbuterol in July. The Spaniard has been provisionally suspended and the UCI have asked the Spanish federation to open disciplinary proceedings that are not expected to be concluded before next year. Saxo Bank, however, have pledged support to Riis, even if Contador is suspended.

Meanwhile, the use of the banned muscle-building and weight-loss stimulant that Tour de France champion Alberto Contador tested positive for is widespread in cycling, according to disgraced American cyclist Floyd Landis. Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour title because of doping, told German television on Monday that he knows riders take clenbuterol. “I think that the risk of taking clenbuterol is higher now than it was earlier, when there weren’t any training controls,” Landis said. “There is still the risk of being caught even if it is rather small now,

against his countrymen, who recovered from a shock defeat against Scotland to beat England 21-11 on Saturday, with Italy prop Salvatore Perugini and Wales flanker Martyn Williams completing the 15. With South Africa’s squad reduced to 23 players after the release of stalwarts including captain Victor Matfield, Cheetahs flanker Juan Smith will lead the Springboks on Saturday. The team is scheduled to be picked Wednesday. Matfield and Jean de Villiers were both injured against England, while Francois Steyn and Ruan Pienaar have rejoined their European clubs because Saturday’s match is outside the designated November international window. Pierre Spies, Morne Steyn and Deon Stegmann have returned to South Africa. Barbarians: James O’Connor (Australia), Joe Rococoko (New Zealand), Ma’a Nonu (New Zealand), Adam AshleyCooper (Australia), Drew Mitchell (Australia), Matt Giteau (Australia), Will Genia (Australia); Salvatore Perugini (Italy), Stephen Moore (Australia), Neemia Tialata (New Zealand), Anton van Zyl (Stormers), Chris Jack (New Zealand), Rodney So’oialo (New Zealand), Martyn Williams (Wales), Colin Bourke (Chiefs). Replacements: Keven Mealamu (New Zealand), John Yapp (Wales), Quintin Geldenhuys (Italy), Daniel Braid (New Zealand), Andy Ellis (New Zealand), Stephen Donald (New Zealand), Seru Rabini (Fiji). —AP

tion for months in closed sessions. Landis said Monday that cycling’s governing body “protects some people and not others.” “That is the way they manipulate results and create stars,” said Landis, who acknowledged his own doping history when he rode for US Postal and Phonak. “It is easy to take anabolics, whether it is testosterone, growth hormone or something like that; and EPO and to make blood transfusions. You can easily do all of that without getting caught, and we routinely did it.” Armstrong, a seventime Tour winner, has always denied doping. — Agencies

Zimonjic in sight of glory

Giteau to lead Barbarians LONDON: Australia’s Matt Giteau will lead the Barbarians from flyhalf against South Africa in the world champion’s tour-ender at Twickenham on Saturday. Giteau has already played twice for the invitational side, including a try-scoring appearance at flyhalf in 2007’s 22-5 win over the Springboks, but has never captained it. “This is a great honor and I am deeply grateful to the Barbarians committee for the confidence they have shown in me,” Giteau said. Giteau is one of six Australians in a strong starting lineup that also features five All Blacks. Joe Rococoko and Australia’s Drew Mitchell are on the wings outside Ma’a Nonu and Adam Ashley-Cooper. The Wallaby-dominated back line is completed by James O’Connor at fullback and scrumhalf Will Genia. O’Connor, Mitchell, Ashley-Cooper and Genia all touched down in the seven-try 59-16 win over France that ended Australia’s tour on a high. The Wallabies beat No. 1-ranked New Zealand in Hong Kong before defeating Wales 25-16, but their tour record was hit by a record 35-18 loss against England. They recovered to beat Italy 32-14 and then rout France. Chris Jack, Rodney So’oialo and Neemia Tialata are the other New Zealand internationals picked, with uncapped Kiwi Colin Bourke in at No. 8. Hooker Stephen Moore is the only Australia forward in the team. Uncapped Stormers lock Anton van Zyl goes up

since the product has usually degraded when the control takes place. “You don’t know what risks people will take to win a race.” Contador, who won his third Tour title earlier this year, says his positive test for clenbuterol was the result of eating contaminated meat. He is facing a two-year ban and being stripped of his victory at an upcoming hearing before the Spanish cycling federation. Landis has previously alleged that Lance Armstrong and members of their former U.S. Postal team systematically doped. A grand jury in Los Angeles has been hearing evidence from an investiga-

Matt Giteau in action in this file photo

BELGRADE: Around the same time as notching his career-best singles victory with a win over Grand Slam great Andre Agassi, Nenad Zimonjic made the seemingly incongrous decision to switch his tennis focus to doubles. Now, six years later, the 34-year-old Serb is reaping handsome dividends from that inspired move and by Sunday he could become a national sporting hero. Last week he won the ATP World Tour Finals with partner Daniel Nestor for the second time, bringing down the curtain on a partnership with the Canadian which also earned them two Wimbledons and one French Open title. This week, however, all his personal achievements will be put to one side when he plays for Serbia in the Balkan country’s first Davis Cup final, against France in Belgrade. “It’s a completely different achievement,” Zimonjic, who has won 23 of his 30 doubles rubbers since making his debut in the competition for the former Yugoslavia against Benin in 1996, told Reuters. “But it’s the biggest achievement that Serbia has as a country in tennis. I’m looking forward to... playing the biggest final in our tennis history. “It would mean everything to the players, to the Federation, to people there, to say we are world champions. Maybe not all of them knew what is Davis Cup. Now I believe they know that it’s like a world championships in tennis.” Zimonjic, who will most likely partner Janko Tipsarevic or Viktor Tricki in Saturday’s doubles, plodded the lower levels of the men’s Tour after turning pro in 1995, hardly rising above 200 in the rankings. By the time he beat Agassi in 2004 he had already made the decision to concentrate on the doubles arts.

“It wasn’t so much a choice,” he said ruefully. “I didn’t have sponsors. I didn’t have chances to hire a coach that could travel with me. I never had a chance to concentrate on it for six, seven months. “The money I was making in doubles was being re-invested in myself so that I could keep playing the singles circuit.” However, what was merely a means to an end suddenly offered Zimonjic the chance to shake off the journeyman tag and establish himself as one of the world’s best doubles players. With a variety of partners he began collecting doubles titles and in 2005 he became a grand slam champion when partnering Karerina Srebotnik to the Wimbledon mixed crown. In 2008 he teamed up for the first time with Nestor, winning Wimbledon and finishing the year as the world’s No.1 duo. Last year they won nine titles and seven more followed this year, including the French Open. Like many players from Serbia, Zimonjic’s route to fame and fortune was a tough one with crumbling sports facilities and the region being torn apart by war. Training took place in a drained swimming pool in Belgrade the same makeshift arena that provided an improvised court for former women’s world No.1 Ana Ivanovic. “That was actually a good place to practice,” he recalled. “There were no indoor courts and the swimming pool was ideal. It was actually quite luxurious compared to what I’d been through. “I was playing tennis in the worst time for the country. The worst time for athletes. We had embargo sanctions. We could not compete as juniors. I had to fly out of Budapest, which is six hours by mini-van. —Reuters



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NFL standings American Football Conference AFC East W L T PF PA PCT NY Jets 9 2 0 264 187 .818 N England 9 2 0 334 266 .818 Miami 6 5 0 205 225 .545 Buffalo 2 9 0 229 295 .182

8 8 4 2

AFC North 3 0 250 3 0 254 7 0 216 9 0 225

188 181 229 288

.727 .727 .364 .182

Jacksonville 6 Indianapolis 6 Houston 5 Tennessee 5

AFC South 5 0 240 5 0 282 6 0 264 6 0 257

294 252 287 218

.545 .545 .455 .455

Kansas City 7 San Diego 6 Oakland 5 Denver 3

AFC West 4 0 285 5 0 310 6 0 255 8 0 250

231 225 256 323

.636 .545 .455 .273

Baltimore Pittsburgh Cleveland Cincinnati

National Football Conference NFC East Philadelphia 7 4 0 310 257 .636 NY Giants 7 4 0 277 240 .636 Washington 5 6 0 215 262 .455 Dallas 3 8 0 256 301 .273

GLENDALE: Quarterback Troy Smith No. 1 of the San Francisco 49ers is sacked by Clark Haggans No. 53 of the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium. — AFP

Chicago Green Bay Minnesota Detroit

8 7 4 2

NFC North 3 0 222 4 0 269 7 0 189 9 0 258

172 166 239 282

.727 .636 .364 .182

Atlanta N Orleans Tampa Bay Carolina

9 8 7 1

NFC South 2 0 276 3 0 265 4 0 219 10 0 140

209 197 223 276

.818 .727 .636 .091

St. Louis Seattle S Francisco Arizona

5 5 3 3

NFC West 6 0 213 6 0 209 7 0 160 7 0 188

231 275 219 292

.455 .455 .300 .300

Westbrook rushes for 136 yards, 49ers roll GLENDALE: Brian Westbrook rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown in place of the injured Frank Gore and the San Francisco 49ers sent punchless Arizona to its sixth straight loss, 27-6 Monday. Westbrook, who had 9 yards on five carries all season, ran 23 times in his 21st career 100-yard game, but first since Dec. 7, 2008, for Philadelphia against the New York Giants. San Francisco (4-7), beaten at home by Tampa Bay 21-0 last week, improved to 3-1 since Troy Smith became starting quarterback and pulled within a game of co-leaders St. Louis and Seattle in the anemic NFC West. Arizona (3-8), two-time defending divi-

sion champion, has not lost this many in a row since dropping eight straight in 2006, Dennis Green’s final season as coach. The 49ers rushed for 261 yards, by far their season high and the most allowed by the Cardinals this season. Westbrook, who led the league in rushing in 2007, was released a year ago after eight, often-spectacular seasons with Philadelphia, a move caused by a combination of his age and injury history as well as the $7.5 million he would have been due this season. He signed with San Francisco on Aug. 16, but had hardly played at all until Gore went down on Monday. The Arizona

defense did not provide much resistance as San Francisco pushed around the home team at the line of scrimmage from the start. The Cardinal’s tepid performance brought a shower of boos from the home crowd. Gore injured a hip in the first quarter and briefly tried to come back before going out for good in the second period. He had 25 and 15 yards in his first two carries, a sign of things to come against an Arizona defense that entered the game last in the league in points allowed. Smith didn’t need to pass much, completing 11 of 23 for 129 yards with one touch-

down and an interception. San Francisco, a team that has not scored more than 24 points in a game all season, led 21-6 at the half. The 49ers hadn’t scored that many by halftime in two years. The Cardinals committed their 27th turnover of the season on their first play from scrimmage when Derek Anderson and Beanie Wells botched a handoff and Aubrayo Franklin recovered for San Francisco. On the next play, Smith threw 38 yards to Michael Crabtree for the touchdown, the receiver making a diving catch in the end zone. Wells gained a measure of redemption on the next possession.

Fit-again Xavi shines for Barca MADRID: His tendinitis behind him, Xavi brilliantly lit up Barcelona’s 5-0 demolition of arch enemies Real Madrid in Monday’s ‘Clasico’ to confirm his place as the chief playmaker in Pep Guardiola’s team. “I’d already said it: when Xavi isn’t there, our game is different,” said Xavi’s French team-mate Eric Abidal after the Catalans’ breathtaking destruction of their rivals at Camp Nou. At 30 and with 12 years as a professional behind him, Xavi brings the touch, the tempo and the vision to Barca’s star-studded line-up. There are also goals. He opened the scoring in the 10th minute on Monday, sprinting like a number nine into the Real penalty area to receive Andres Iniesta’s pass and lob the ball past a helpless Iker Casillas. The Barca number six then found David Villa with a devilishly precise cross-field pass in the build-up to Pedro Rodriguez’s 18th-minute second goal. A goal and an assist to an assist in his 11th Clasico represent the bare statistics, but his true worth could be gauged from the desperation of his opponents. Ably abetted by Iniesta and the talented Sergio Busquets, Xavi the magician transformed Real’s central midfield duo Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira into headless chickens, who spent the entire game chasing after the ball. The year 2010 has been a joyous one for the prodigy from Terrassa, near Barcelona, who has now won everything: the World Cup, the European Championship, the Club World Cup, the Champions League, the Spanish league, the King’s Cup, the European Super Cup and the Spanish Super Cup. The FIFA Ballon d’Or could be the next trophy he gets his hands on, but although he is highly likely

to make the top three, victory is far from assured. He will face competition from Iniesta, as well as Barca team-mate Lionel Messi, while Wesley Sneijder presents a strong case after leading Inter Milan to an unprecedented treble and the Netherlands to the World Cup final. Barca had feared the worst for Xavi this season, however, after a gruelling and emotionally sapping World Cup campaign with Spain. Troubled by tendinitis in his knee, he was obliged to spend several days on the sidelines at the start of October and missed two of Spain’s Euro 2012 qualifying matches. He returned on October 17 in a 2-1 win over Valencia and was quickly back into his stride with two assists. His fitness, though, was a continued source of concern. “I’m winning the war, but with the medical staff and the physiotherapists I’m sure I’ll get back soon,” he said at the time. “We’ll have to be patient but it still hurts.” The dialogue from his club was slightly less positive. “We don’t want to lose him,” admitted Guardiola. “I suspect he’ll not be able to play every week, but we’ll see.” Xavi succeeded in winning the “war” against his pain, though, and after a superb performance in a 5-0 defeat of Sevilla on October 30 he declared himself nearly at full fitness. “I’m optimistic about playing in every match but that depends on the pain,” he explained. The reaction in the Barca camp was one of over-riding relief. The day after the match with Sevilla, Xavi declared himself ready for a different war, but this time a football one, as he refused to be drawn into a “war of words” with Real’s provocative coach Jose Mourinho. The war is not over, but Xavi and his troops have won a landmark battle. —AFP

Playing as a wideout to the right, he caught a 43-yard pass from Anderson but a season-long red zone problem continued and Jay Feely’s 31-yard field goal made it 7-3. Ted Ginn Jr. had a kickoff return of 41 yards and a punt return for 42, both leading to San Francisco touchdowns. The 49ers went 55 yards in 10 plays after the kickoff, Anthony Dixon leaping over from the 1-yard line to make it 14-3 with 29 seconds to go in the first. Shane Andrus, kicking in place of injured Joe Nedney, missed a 47-yard field goal on San Francisco’s first possession. He also had a 37-yarder blocked by

Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie in the third quarter. Arizona blew an opportunity late in the first half after Smith’s pass bounced off the hands of Vernon Davis and was intercepted by Michael Adams at the San Francisco 42. Anderson threw three incompletions and the Cardinals punted. The boos that had started midway through the first quarter were louder than ever as the teams left the field. LaRod Stephens-Howling briefly got the fans back in it with an 83-yard kickoff return to start the second half, but it was called back by a holding penalty against Arizona rookie Daryl Washington. — AP

Tensions over LeBron’s return to Cleveland

SPAIN: Barcelona’s midfielder Xavi Hernandez celebrates after scoring against Real Madrid during the Spanish League ‘Clasico’ football match FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid. —AFP

MIAMI: NBA superstar LeBron James makes an emotional return to the city he spurned tomorrow when the Miami Heat visit Cleveland amid tighter security and a reception even James expects will be unwelcoming. James, the reigning two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, departed the Cavaliers for Miami last July in a free agent deal announced on a television special, joining Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in a gathering of talent at Miami. Cavaliers supporters burned James jerseys in their anger. A baseball fan who attended a Cleveland Indians game while wearing a Heat jersey with James’s name on it had to be escorted out by police after being pelted with trash and beer. So “King James” is well aware that his former subjects are serious about showing their displeasure. “It’s going to be a real hostile environment,” James said. “It’s going to be pretty intense.” A Twitter campaign to react to James’s introduction with laughter, like a Cleveland-area bishop’s preaching to show class and more kindness than James did on his departure, could tamp down the venom expected to greet the playmaker. But Quicken Loans Arena has reminded the public that signs, clothing or verbal abuse featuring profanity will not be tolerated and extra security will be on hand to ensure decorum, even if a cascade of jeers are expected. A sellout crowd of more than 20,000 people will be on hand to greet James, with ticket resale prices reaching 5,000 dollars for prime seats and just 250 dollars to get inside the arena for a chance to boo James upon his return. James, who grew up in the Cleveland suburb of Akron, made an appearance in his hometown a month after his decision in a bicycle charity event and thanked Cleveland fans for their support. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert described James as “selfish” and called his departure from the team a “cowardly betrayal”. “You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal,” Gilbert said in the letter to the Cleveland fans.

“You have given so much and deserve so much more. In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight: “I personally guarantee that the Cleveland Cavaliers will win an NBA championship before the self-titled former ‘King’ wins one. You can take it to the bank. “If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our ‘motivation’ to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels. “This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown ‘chosen one’ sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn.” Gilbert was fined 100,000 dollars by the NBA for his remarks and James fired back in an interview with GQ magazine, saying he will have extra motivation every time he plays against the Cavaliers. “I do have motivation, a lot of motivation,” James said. “I don’t think (Gilbert) ever cared about LeBron.” The Cavaliers come to Miami on December 15 and January 31. The Heat will visit the Cavaliers again on March 29. James said that he left 30 million dollars on the table by departing Cleveland but that winning an NBA title was the most important thing and he felt he had a better chance of doing that with the Heat. Thus far, neither club is doing all that well. The Heat are 10-8, third in the Southeast division and fif th in the Eastern Conference, while the Cavaliers are 7-9, third in the Central division and eighth in the Eastern Conference. The Heat’s return to Cleveland also marks the homecoming of another former Cavaliers’ star now with the Heat, Lithuanian center Zydrunas Ilgauskas. “I don’t know what to expect,” Ilgauskas said. “It’s my first time as a visitor. I’m part of the Heat now, so these are my guys and obviously we are going to get a harsh, harsh reception as a team. —AFP


Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Heat scorch Wizards

SAN ANTONIO: Spurs’ George Hill (right) drives around Cleveland Cavaliers’ Daniel Gibson during the first half of an NBA basketball game. —AP

NBA results/standings Results and standings from the NBA games on Monday. Miami 105, Washington 94; Oklahoma City 95, New Orleans 89.

Boston NY Knicks Toronto New Jersey Philadelphia Chicago Indiana Cleveland Detroit Milwaukee Orlando Atlanta Miami Charlotte Washington

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT 12 4 .750 9 9 .500 6 11 .353 6 11 .353 4 13 .235 Central Division 9 6 .600 8 7 .533 7 9 .438 6 11 .353 6 11 .353 Southeast Division 12 4 .750 11 7 .611 10 8 .556 6 11 .353 5 11 .313

GB 4 6.5 6.5 8.5 1 2.5 4 4 2 3 6.5 7

Western Conference Northw est Division Utah 14 5 .737 Oklahoma City 12 6 .667 Denver 10 6 .625 Portland 8 8 .500 Minnesota 4 13 .235 Pacific Division LA Lakers 13 4 .765 Phoenix 8 9 .471 Golden State 8 9 .471 Sacramento 4 11 .267 LA Clippers 3 15 .167 Southw est Division San Antonio 14 2 .875 Dallas 13 4 .765 New Orleans 12 5 .706 Memphis 7 10 .412 Houston 5 12 .294

1.5 2.5 4.5 9 5 5 8 10.5 1.5 2.5 7.5 9.5

MIAMI: LeBron James scored 30 points, Dwyane Wade added 26 as the Miami Heat pulled away steadily to beat Washington 10594 on Monday, keeping the Wizards winless away from home this season. Chris Bosh finished with 20 for the Heat, who won for just the second time in their past six games. James got Miami going with 20 in the first half, Wade then helped seal the win with 22 in the second half. It was the 100th regular-season win for Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, in his 182nd game. Andray Blatche scored 26 points and had nine rebounds for Washington, which is 0-8 on the road. Gilbert Arenas added 23 for Washington. The Wizards were without No. 1 draft pick John Wall, who missed his second straight game with a bruised right knee. Thunder 95, Hornets 89 At Oklahoma City, Russell Westbrook scored 12 of his 25 points during a decisive 14-0 run late in the fourth quarter and had 11 assists as Oklahoma rallied to beat New Orleans. Westbrook scored six in a row to tie the game, then kept going with a driving layup and a 3-pointer that put the Thunder up 88-81 with 1:38 to play. After the 3pointer, he mocked slamming guns down into holsters at his side. Kevin Durant hit four free throws down the stretch to seal the game and finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds. David West scored 20 points to lead New Orleans but missed his final six shots while Oklahoma City was making its comeback. Chris Paul added 17 points, 14 assists and five steals as the Hornets lost for the fourth time in five games after an 11-1 start. Mavericks 101, Rockets 91 At Dallas, Caron Butler scored 13 of his 19 points during a decisive third-quarter run and Dirk Nowitzki had 20 points and 10 rebounds as Dallas stretched their winning streak to six games with a victory over Houston. Shawn Marion added 14 points and 10 rebounds, and J.J Barea scored 11 for the Mavericks. Kevin Martin’s 17 points and Luis Scola’s 15 paced the Rockets, who’ve lost six of eight. Dallas used a 17-6 third-quarter run capped by 11 straight from Butler to expand a seven-point halftime edge to 77-59. The Mavs carried an 83-71 lead into the final quarter, and were up by as many as 22 down the stretch. Jazz 109, Bucks 88 At Salt Lake City, Al Jefferson had 22 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots to lead Utah to a victory over injury-depleted Milwaukee. Deron Williams also scored 22 points for the Jazz (145), who have won six straight. Brandon Jennings led Milwaukee (6-11) with 27 points while Ersan Ilyasova added 18 for the Bucks. Milwaukee, again missing three key players because of injury, made 7 of 12 3pointers in the first half to keep it close. —AP

SALT LAKE CITY: Milwaukee Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova (left) of Turkey and Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams (right) go after a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game. — AP

Serie A players to strike as talks break down ROME: Serie A players say they will go on strike on the weekend of Dec. 11 and 12 after Italian players’ union representative Sergio Campana walked out on talks with the Italian league over a new collective bargaining agreement. Campana left the negotiations despite a deadline yesterday for reaching a resolution to the dispute between the sides, according to ANSA news agency reports. The union is refusing to accept a proposal that clubs be allowed to force unwanted players to train away from the first team or accept a transfer. “The decision to strike comes from the repeated refusal of the League to accept the AIC’s proposals, only discuss six of the

eight points and exclude those that concern training away from the team and forced transfers,” the union said in a statement. Italian Football Association President Giancarlo Abete joined the talks but failed to find a breakthrough. “We are bound by the decision of the AIC executive that a strike would take place on Dec 11 and 12 if we couldn’t find an accord,” AIC Vice President Leonardo Grosso said. “We left the League upstairs with the Football Association and Abete,” Grosso said. “We agreed on six of the points, but we cannot accept the seventh, which concerns players left out of the squad.” League President Maurizio Beretta criti-

cized the union’s position. “The decision to strike is irresponsible and without reason,” Beretta said. “I am dumbfounded by the AIC’s decision to leave the negotiating table while President Abete was showing the draft proposal prepared by the Football Association. It is a day without precedent.” Abete will now accompany the sides to a hearing at the Italian Olympic Committee today. Serie A players went on strike in March 1996 over several issues, including the Bosman ruling, which established the right of players to switch clubs freely once their contracts expired. — AP

Mourinho banned for deliberate red cards NYON: Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has been banned for two Champions League matches for instructing players to get deliberate red cards so they could serve suspensions in a meaningless game. Mourinho was also fined $51,990 for instructing Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos to get sent off in last week’s 4-0 win against Ajax. Alonso and Ramos were fined $25,990. They are already suspended from Real’s next group match, against Auxerre on Dec. 8, but can now start the knockout rounds in February with a clean slate. Madrid is already sure of winning Group G. Mourinho was also given a further one-match suspension to be imposed if the Portuguese coach is found guilty within the next three years of what UEFA calls “improper conduct.” Mourinho had denied the accusations but footage of the match showed him apparently sending instructions from the bench immediately before Alonso and Ramos received second yellow cards for time-wasting late on. UEFA also fined Real Madrid $155,980, while goalkeepers Iker Casillas and Jerzy Dudek were fined smaller amounts for apparently passing on Mourinho’s orders. Mourinho is likely to sit out the match against Auxerre. He and Madrid have three days to appeal against the decision.

SPAIN: Real Madrid’s Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho. — AFP It is not the first time Mourinho has been punished by UEFA for incidents in the Champions League. When he coached Chelsea, UEFA banned him from the touchline for two matches in 2005 after he accused Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard of visiting Swedish referee Anders Frisk at halftime in the first leg of a round-of-16 clash. Meanwhile, Real Madrid awoke yesterday to the realization that despite coach Jose Mourinho’s arrival, ending its trophy drought will not be easy after Barcelona’s 5-0 demolition the previous night. Lionel Messi orchestrated the masterful performance by two-time defending champion Barcelona, which moved past its rival to take a twopoint lead atop the Spanish standings. But while Messi dazzled,

Cristiano Ronaldo fizzled in what El Periodico newspaper labeled: “A Cold Dose of Reality” for the Spanish capital club, which has watched its Catalan rival amass eight major trophies over the last two seasons. Real Madrid have won none in the same span. Even Madrid-leaning sports daily Marca was forced to tip its hat to Barcelona, calling the loss “A Slap to the Face” after Madrid endured its first defeat since April — when it also lost to Barcelona — and Mourinho’s most lopsided loss. Catalan paper La Vanguardia was succinct: “Barca humiliates Real Madrid.” Madrid hired Mourinho to turn around the world’s most expensive squad. He led Inter Milan to the Champions League title in May, eliminating Barcelona along the way. But the masterful tactician

could only look on stone-faced at the Camp Nou as Messi led the rout, the Argentina forward’s vision in attack playing a part in many of the goals, including assists on both of David Villa’s scores. “Who is more complete than Messi?” Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said of the FIFA World Player of the Year. “Messi is the best, in all aspects. He doesn’t just score — he dominates every category. “Simply put, he’s the best.” Ronaldo, meanwhile, failed to score for the first time in six games against Barcelona. The Portugal forward’s most memorable moment came during a 31stminute melee that started when he shoved Guardiola after the coach didn’t return the ball for a throw-in. “We played against a great Real Madrid with spectacular numbers, but we should evaluate the way Barcelona played,” captain Carles Puyol said. “Madrid didn’t play horribly, Barcelona played very well.” Madrid’s frustration boiled over in the 90th minute when Sergio Ramos was red carded for a tackle from behind on Messi. With 12 of Spain’s World Cup winners on the field, the idea that country always comes before club wasn’t apparent as Ramos shoved Spain teammates Carles Puyol and Xavi Hernandez as he left the field. “It’s a game that will help us understand top-flight football and continue maturing,” director general Jorge Valdano said. —AP

FRANCE: Olympique Marseille’s Argentinian midfielder Lucho Gonzalez (center) is congratulated by teammates in this file photo. —AFP

Marseille seek room at the top PARIS: Marseille coach Didier Deschamps has urged his side to build on recent momentum as they bid to go three points clear in the French top flight with victory over Rennes in a rescheduled game today. Defending champions Marseille go into the match on top of the table after a 4-0 thrashing of Montpellier on Saturday enabled them to inch above previous leaders Lille on goal difference. The win at the weekend followed hot on the heels of a 3-0 defeat of Spartak Moscow in the Russian capital that sent OM into the Champions League last 16 for the first time since the 1999-2000 campaign. Deschamps is eager to see the

winning streak continue as the winter break approaches, but warned that nobody at the club was getting carried away. “We’re not champions again because we have 25 points and we’re in first place,” he said. “There’s been better stuff, progress, but there’s still a long way to go. We’ll be tested again on Wednesday against Rennes. “It’s the opportunity to pick up a bonus and we’ll do the maximum to make sure it’s three points. Up to the break, we need to do what we can to pick up maximum points.” Rennes led the table at the beginning of October but have since slipped to fifth, two points behind Marseille, after winning

just once in their last seven league games. Their latest setback was a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Brittany rivals Lorient and coach Frederic Antonetti has warned his side that they will not get away with the same mistakes at Marseille’s Stade Velodrome. “It was the first time that we’d been so completely out of a game,” he said. “There is progress to be made because when we’re confident, we aren’t able to string a series of results together. “If we play like that on Wednesday against Marseille, there’ll be no point in going.” Marseille’s demolition of Montpellier did not come without

a cost, however, as the champions lost Spanish right-back Cesar Azpilicueta to a serious knee ligament injury that is likely to keep him out for the entire season. Defensive midfielder Charles Kabore will deputise against Rennes, but Deschamps revealed that he hoped a decision would be made “this week” about whether OM will buy a long-term replacement in the January transfer window. Marseille had been due to meet Rennes at the end of October, but the game was postponed twice due to a waterlogged pitch. Saint-Etienne, 12th and without a win in seven league games, travel to 14th-placed Valenciennes in another rearranged game today. — AFP

World Cup bid race mix football, politics

ST. PETERSBURG: Belgium Anderlecht’s players warm up during a training session at Petrovsky Stadium prior to their UEFA Europa League football match against Zenit today. Temperatures in the city have dropped to -8 celcius. —AFP

Italians struggle to make impact LONDON: Not so long ago Italy had a stranglehold on the UEFA Cup but the country seems to have fallen out of love with the competition’s descendant and Serie A’s four sides are having a hard time in this season’s Europa League. Juventus, Napoli, Sampdoria and Palermo have, between them, won a paltry two of their 16 group games and go into the penultimate round today and tomorrow in danger of failing to advance to the last-32 knockout stage. Between 1989 and 1999 Italian clubs appeared in 10 of the 11 UEFA Cup finals, with four of them all-Italian affairs. Juventus won the final three times but they head for Lech Poznan in Group A on Wednesday hard-hit by injuries and desperate for a win. Juventus have drawn all four games, leaving them three points adrift of Poznan and Manchester City, who

host Salzburg. An improvement in form has taken Juventus to third in Serie A but the Turin side are not yet ready to relinquish their European hopes. “The Europa League for us is an important objective, also because it gives everyone the chance to play,” said winger Simone Pepe, who scored in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Fiorentina. Manchester City, struggling to find any consistency from their multi-millionpound squad in the Premier League, are finding life smoother in Europe. “European games are more strategic, almost like games of chess. There’s a lot more emphasis on tactics,” said their Spain midfielder David Silva. Napoli, Sampdoria and Palermo are, like Juventus, all sitting in third place in their groups. Napoli have three points and, with Liverpool on eight and Steaua Bucharest on

five, they still have work to do in Group K. Sampdoria are growing in confidence ahead of their trip to Group I leaders PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday when the Dutch side, with 10 points, look likely to advance. Palermo host Sparta Prague in Group F on Thursday needing to win to have any chance of progressing behind already-qualified CSKA Moscow. Holders Atletico Madrid can make sure of their place in the last 32 with a win at home on Wednesday to Aris Thessaloniki, who beat them 1-0 in Greece in September. Second in Group B, a point behind Bayer Leverkusen, Atletico need to pick themselves up after a 3-2 loss at home to Espanyol at the weekend. “It’s the most important match of the month and we have to win so we can progress,” said president

Enrique Cerezo. Germany have not won the competition since Schalke 04 triumphed in the last of the two-legged UEFA Cup finals in 1997 but, with Stuttgart already through, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund have the chance to take Bundesliga representation to three. Dortmund go into Thursday’s game against Karpaty Lviv having opened up a seven-point lead in the Bundesliga but it has been harder work in Europe. They have five points in a tough Group J, with PSG (eight) and Sevilla (nine), who meet in Paris, setting the pace. Group B leaders Bayer Leverkusen, who beat Rosenborg 4-0 at home in their first group match, are expecting a tougher game in Norway today, when a win would send the Germans through. —Reuters

ZURICH: Sports and politics mixed at the highest level yesterday, as government leaders stepped up support for their countries’ bids to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022. British Prime Minister David Cameron, Prince William and David Beckham arrived in Zurich to help England’s 2018 team limit the potential damage caused by a BBC television investigation broadcast Monday that alleged corrupt dealings by four voters from FIFA’s executive committee. “I’ve only got one focus here and that’s trying to bring the World Cup home for England,” Cameron said. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has yet to decide if he will travel to Zurich before Thursday’s vote, Russian sports minister and 2018 bid chairman Vitaly Mutko said. “He will speak for himself, probably tomorrow,” Mutko said. The US government said Attorney General Eric Holder will join former President Bill Clinton at FIFA headquarters today when the five 2022 candidates make their final 30-minute presentations. Australia has sent its most senior state official, governor general Quentin Bryce, to Zurich. She was meeting with FIFA President Sepp Blatter yesterday. FIFA said it had no intention of examining BBC allegations that three voters — Ricardo Teixeira, Nicolas Leoz and Issa Hayatou — took kickbacks from FIFA’s former marketing agency from 1989-99. FIFA said the matter was dealt with by a Swiss criminal court two years ago and no official was charged. The International Olympic Committee said it would open an ethics probe into the allegations against Hayatou, who has been an IOC member since 2001. FIFA was still seeking to end a stalemate over whether its smallest continental region, Oceania, can vote on Thursday. Oceania wants to replace its suspended president Reynald Temarii, who was banned by FIFA for ethics violations. Temarii has been reluctant to waive his right to appeal, which FIFA rules require before his deputy David Chung from Papua New Guinea can replace him. Chung’s presence would bring the number of voters to 23 and could alter a delicate balance in both contests. Leaders of the joint Spain-Portugal bid believe they have eight first-round votes secured in the 2018 race that includes England, Russia and Belgium-Netherlands. The European candidates make their on-stage presentations

SWITZERLAND: Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko and Russian Football Union (RFU) chief executive director Alexei Sorokin give a press conference in Zurich before his country’s 2018 World Cup bid to world football’s ruling body FIFA. England, Russia and joint bids by Spain-Portugal and Netherlands-Belgium are in the running to host the 2018 World Cup. — AFP Thursday morning. The 2022 contest pits the US and Australia against Japan, South Korea and Qatar. FIFA investigated but found no evidence of alleged vote-trading between Spain-Portugal and Qatar. With both bid races too close to call, last-minute lobbying by government leaders could yet be decisive. Cameron was meeting FIFA vice president Jack Warner

from Trinidad and Tobago, who was targeted by a BBC investigation over an alleged ticket scam before the World Cup in South Africa. Warner can potentially deliver three votes from his Concacaf region that are deemed crucial to England’s chances. FIFA requires complete government support to underwrite World Cup investment, plus tax and legal breaks during the monthlong tournament. — AP

JIS football team dazzles - crowned champions again KUWAIT: Jabriya Indian School clinched the 12th CBSE Kuwait Cluster Interschool Football Tournament for Boys second time in a row and it was indeed a proud moment for the team and the school. The tournament was organized by Jabriya Indian School and saw the keen participation of 13 Indian schools of Kuwait. In the league match JIS defeated IES 3-2. In the quarter finals JIS exhibiting a fine performance defeated JIS with a score of 5-4. In the semi finals JIS defeated Carmel School 10. Afif JIS ace-player and Captain scored the goal. DPS crushed IPS 3-1 in the other semifinals. And in the finals played between JIS and FAIPS, FAIPS was leading with 2-0 at halftime. In the second half JIS lev-

eled the score (2-2) Karam and Djibril scoring the goals. During extra time the score was same again. In the penalty shoot-out thee score was 3-3. In the sudden death JIS beat DPS 3-2 and lifted the trophy. Afif, Djibril, Ahamed Sulaiman, Daniel, Sayed Hassan scored for JIS while Afif was declared the best player of the tournament. This absolute spectacular success of the JIS team was made possible by the brilliant performance of each member of the team and excellent coaching by their mentor KM Jose. The victory qualifies JIS to represent Kuwait Cluster in the CBSE National Football tournament in India. The closing ceremony that followed was witnessed by a galaxy of distinguished guests which included chief guest Mohammed Mansour project

KUWAIT: Chief guest Mohammed Mansour giving away the trophy to the JIS champions. Also in the picture are, Pancily Varkey, Jose Thomas, Ramdas, Nagendra Singh and K.M. Jose.

Director, Kuwait Controls Co. & the President of the Kuwait Sports Welfare Association, Mrs Shantha Maria, Convener Kuwait Cluster, Guests of Honor Pancily Varkey, General Manager UAE Exchange, Ramdas, Marketing Manager UAE Exchange Co., Jose Thomas, Marketing Manager Bahrain Exchange Co., Nagendra Singh, Area Manager Mughal Mahal, Mrs. Usha Varkey, Principal JIS and DK Sharma, Manager JIS were also present and presented mementos to the dignitaries. In an impressive presentation ceremony Mohammed Mansour handed over the big gleaming and glittering Champions trophy to the winners JIS while Jose Thomas and Nagendra Singh awarded the medals and certificates to FAIPS amidst thunderous

applause. Medals and certificates to the winning school was given by Pancily Varkey and Ramdas to JIS. Special individual awards, and medals for outstanding performance were given by Principal Usha Varkey and Mohammed Monsour. Semifinals, finals and some other matches were controlled by referees, Richard, Midas, Christopher Fernandes, Michael Dias etc. Congratulations to the JIS team and its mentor KM Jose for yet another laurel in their crown of achievements. The tournament was cosponsored by Shifa Al Jazeera Medical Clinic, UAE Exchange Co. Bahrain Exchange Company Kuwait and Rowda Co-operative society. The tournament was held in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Stadium Bayan.

KUWAIT: The beaming JIS team champions of the CBSE Kuwait Cluster, and honoured guests: Mohammed Mansour, Pancily Varkey, Jose Thomas, Ramdas, Nagendra Singh, Principal Usha Varkey, D.K. Sharma, JIS coach K.M. Jose and others.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kuwait sees investment potential in East Sudan By Nisreen Zahreddine KUWAIT: Investment opportunities for Kuwait’s private sector in East Sudan are abundant and recent legislation complies with the open investment trend taken by the Sudanese government. News on the new investment opportunity was announced at the opening session ahead of the International Donors and Investors Conference for East Sudan hosted by Kuwait. Speeches in the session preceding the conference were delivered yesterday at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Ali Thanian Al-Ghanem, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce welcomed the Sudanese delegation and assured them that the Kuwaiti private sector is interested in investing in projects in Sudan and East Sudan as long as obstacles faced by some Kuwaiti investors there are overcame. In his opinion new regulations are required to achieve further investment from Kuwaitis, which could be strategically important to the country’s development process. Saud Maamoun Al-Brair, Chairman of the Sudan Businessmen Bureau, thanked Kuwait for its continuous support to Sudan during its time of crisis and expressed Sudan’s will to attract Kuwaiti investors in East Sudan. He explained that this area has a lot of investment potential in areas of education, healthcare, tourism, livestock, cattle, fisheries, electricity and several other fields. Mustafa Othman Ismail, a Sudanese Presidential Consultant, thanked Kuwait for hosting the conference and stressed that the newly established higher council for investment in Sudan demonstrates that Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir is dedicated to removing obstacles faced by Kuwaiti investors in Sudan. He added that the laws and legislations have been renewed in an attempt to attract those interested in investing in tourism. A brief presentation was made on the proposed investment projects subject to bidding by Obaida Mohammad Al-Daj, the manager of the East Sudan Redevelopment Fund. The presentation was followed by a documentary introducing attendees to life in East Sudan and the nature of the harsh circumstances many residents are living through in that area. Kuwait is hosting the International Donors and Investors Conference on East Sudan today and tomorrow. The event will feature discussions on several fields of investments including tourism, fisheries, agriculture, horticulture and livestock, industrial plants and real estate. The highly ranked 150 member Sudanese delegation hopes to demonstrate how Sudan could benefit from donations provided by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, a main partner of the conference, and investment from Kuwait’s private sector.

Al-Ghanem addresses investors’ conference

DUBAI: Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, is silhouetted at sunset in Dubai yesterday. The construction and real estate sectors in Dubai has registered a near five percent fall in 2010, a top Dubai government official said of the sector was hit hard by the financial crisis.— AFP

Qatar renews call to link gas prices to oil New mechanism to ensure market stability: Al-Attiyah DOHA: Gas-rich Qatar yesterday renewed calls by exporters of natural gas for a mechanism to link pricing for the commodity to oil prices to ensure stability in the market. “This is the best way (for) stability to be brought back into the market,” said Qatari Energy Minister Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah. “If there were to be an agreement on gas pricing, the market would be open to everyone,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a gas forum in Doha. “There would be a guaranteed supply, instead of having exporters switching destinations of their exports depending on (offered) prices,” Sheikh Abdullah added. Gas prices are determined either in long-term contracts between seller and buyer or on spot markets. But the energy chief of Qatar, which sits on the world’s third largest reserves

of natural gas, brushed aside questions on calls to form a cartel of gas exporters like OPEC which influences prices by setting quota allocations. “No cartel,” he said in a curt response. Qatar is home to the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, whose members control 69 percent of proven global natural gas reserves. The idea of a “gas OPEC” gained momentum in 2006 after Europe’s main suppliers, Russia’s Gazprom and Algeria’s Sonatrach, signed a partnership accord. But the idea which alarmed consumer countries in Europe soon lost steam as gas exporters did not appear keen on production quotas. At the forum, Attiyah advocated switching to natural gas as an ideal energy source that reduces carbon emissions. “Given the many advantages of natural gas over other fossil fuels that emit more

Islamic megabank launch likely next year JEDDAH/MANAMA: Investors in a longtouted Islamic bank with as much as $3 billion in capital hope to launch the bank next year, bankers said yesterday, in a bid to improve the competitiveness of the scattered industry. Saudi Arabia’s Sheikh Saleh Kamel, founder and chairman of Bahrain-based Islamic bank Al-Baraka, has spearheaded an initiative to establish a global Islamic mega bank but the plan has been touted for years. “We were hoping for it to happen in the third quarter of this year but there was (not enough) time ... hopefully it will happen next year,” he told reporters in Jeddah yesterday without saying why the project was delayed. He said the next steps would be discussed in December at a meeting with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the Saudi-based organization that is trying to develop an international Islamic capital market through regular issues of Islamic bonds. The emerging Islamic finance industry is fragmented and its banks lack sufficient capital to compete with the Islamic units of Western banks on mandates to syndicate

loans, arrange Islamic bonds and supply project finance in the Gulf Arab region. The absence of a lender of last resort is also seen as one of the industry’s weaknesses, as few central banks issue liquidity instruments compliant with Islamic law, forcing Islamic banks to place their liquidity with large conventional banks. Adnan Yousif, chief executive of Al Baraka and an advisor to the project, told Reuters the bank will likely have an authorized capital of $3 billion, a third of which will be raised in a private placement. He said the remainder could be raised in an initial public offering (IPO) at a later stage. The group setting up the bank is seen as a candidate to win one of two licenses for Islamic banks with capital of at least $1 billion by the Malaysian central bank. The country plans to boost its financial services sector by allowing more foreign investments. “They are studying the Malaysian market, but there are two other locations under consideration,” Yousif said, declining to say whether the group had applied for a license in Malaysia. — Reuters

carbon dioxide per unit of energy consumed, switching to natural gas seems to be a sensible approach that can mitigate the effect of greenhouse gases,” he said, kicking off the one-day forum. Attiyah also told participants that natural gas saw the largest drop in consumption last year in the primary energy mix. World gas demand dropped by 2.1 percent in 2009 due to the global economic recession, according to a paper produced by the International Energy Forum (IEF) and International Gas Union (IGU), the joint organizers of the forum. It said that demand declined in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries by 3.1 percent, with Europe most affected, as well as non-OECD Russia where demand dropped by as much as 6.1 percent. But demand in robust China and India surged by a

respective 9.4 percent and 25.9 percent in the same period, as the Middle East also saw a growth in demand of 4.4 percent, it added. An oversupply of natural gas, or a “gas glut,” is what currently irks exporters, as increased liquefaction capacity and a rise in the supply of the US unconventional shale gas faced low demand over the past two years. “A surge in volumes coupled to a weak demand resulted in a global gas over supply,” the IEF-IGU said in a paper at the forum. Attiyah, whose country is now the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, sounded unfazed by the competition to LNG from shale gas, saying on the contrary that it supports gas as an adequate source for energy. “In the past there was a fear that gas was not enough ... Now we can confirm that there is enough gas,” he told reporters. —AFP

US consumer confidence up; euro sinks on debt fear LONDON: Buoyant US consumer confidence figures failed to turn around investor sentiment yesterday as worries that Portugal or even Spain will have to seek outside help for their debts continued to unsettle financial markets. Those worries sent the euro plunging below $1.30 for the first time since midSeptember as the cost of borrowing for both countries continued to edge up higher — a sign that investors are getting more and more concerned about holding Spanish and Portuguese debt. By mid-af ternoon London time, the euro was trading 1 percent lower at $1.2997, just ahead of its earlier low of $1.2968. That was the first time it had fallen below $1.30 since Sept.

16. The selling was less pronounced in the stock markets, partly because share prices, particularly in Europe, had a miserable on Monday, with most major indexes closing around 2 percent lower. In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 11.41 points, or 0.2 percent, at 5,539.54 while Germany’s DAX fell 14.48 points, or 0.2 percent, at 6,683.49. The CAC-40 in France was 33.02 points, or 0.9 percent, lower at 3,603.94. In the US, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 64.86 points, or 0.6 percent, at 10,987.63 soon after the open while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 8.84 points, or 0.7 percent, at 1,178.92. Some comfort emerged with the

Irish justice minister to quit after bailout deal DUBLIN: An Irish government minister who had dismissed as fiction reports Ireland was seeking international bailout loans said yesterday he planned to quit on health grounds, days after an economic rescue package was sealed. Justice minister Dermot Ahern said he would stand down at the country’s forthcoming election, which is expected early next year. Ahern, a lawmaker since 1987, said he had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and explained he had informed Irish leader Brian Cowen of his decision in Oct. 2009. Earlier this month, Ahern had said reports Ireland was seeking financial aid were wrong. He said on Nov. 14 that “nothing is going on at the direction of government in relation to this.” Ireland on Sunday accepted a deal for 67.5 billion euros ($89 billion) in loans from the International Monetary

Fund, European Union and others. The Irish premier planned to address Dail Eireann, the country’s parliament, on the bailout as lawmakers met for the first time since the package was announced. Ireland’s finance ministry said full details of the deal would be published by next Monday, ahead of a statement yesterday on the 2011 budget — which will contain a raft of tough spending cuts. Opinion has been divided, with the government’s opponents worried Ireland won’t be able to afford the average interest rate of 5.8 percent on the international loans. Many are angered that Ireland must use 17.5 billion euros of its own cash and pension reserves to shore up its ravaged public finances, which have been overwhelmed by recession and the high costs of a bank-bailout effort. —AP

MANHATTAN: Shoppers cross an intersection outside Macy’s in Manhattan, New York. A monthly survey shows Americans’ confidence in the economy rose in November to the highest level in five months amid more hopeful signs. — AP

news that consumer confidence in the US has ratcheted up in November ahead of the crucial Christmas buying season, another sign that the recovery in the world’s largest economy is picking up pace. The Conference Board reported that its main US consumer confidence index rose to a five-month high of 54.1, from a revised 49.9 in October. Analysts were expecting a far more modest rise to 52. However, Europe’s debt crisis again dominated the markets’ focus, with the bond markets in particular considering the likelihood of further bailouts, following the weekend’s euro 67.5 billion ($87.8 billion) rescue package for Ireland. Although Portugal is widely considered to be the most at risk of a bailout, the major worry in the market is a possible bailout for Spain. Most analysts think European authorities can handle bailing out the relative minnows of Greece, Ireland and Portugal, but Spain — at around 12 percent of the euro-zone economy — would be different matter altogether. The Spanish yield on ten-year bonds rose another 0.16 percentage point yesterday to 5.58 percent, while Portugal’s was up 0.01 at 7.05 percent. “The question of whether Portugal will get a bailout of its own seems to have been swept aside as investors ponder whether the authorities can afford to pre-emptively bailout Spain as they look well into the distance to review how much debt the local banking system has coming due over the next 12 months,” said Andrew Wilkinson, senior market analyst at Interactive Brokers. —AP



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Summit on Global Agenda Open Forums activate public debate Urbanization, energy security top agenda KUWAIT: Delegates attending the World Economic Forum Summit on the Global Agenda, hosted by the Government of the UAE in Dubai from Nov 28 to Dec 1, joined the local community in public debates on urbanization and energy security. The Open Forums, newly added to the Summit this year and held at the American University in Dubai, on Sunday, debated two crucial issues: ‘Cities of the Future’ and ‘Energy Security and Economic Prosperity for the Region.’ Organized on the sidelines of the world’s largest brainstorming session, the events open for the public aim to bring the development dialogue to the public domain and allow the local community to interact with global thought leaders on wide ranging topics of pressing importance. Speakers at the first Open Forum on the “Cities of the Future” articulated how urbanization can drive innovation and resource efficiency despite citywards migration and massive consumption constraining infrastructure and aggravating climate change. The forum also held governments as primarily accountable for driving sustainability innovations for the future through education, legislation and economic diversification. “Sustainability is not all about money. If people are convinced sustainability can offer a better quality of life then they will accept it,” said Konrad Otto-Zimmermann, Secretary General of ICLEI-Local governments for Sustainability, Germany, contradicting the

argument that sustainability needs a business case to succeed. The Forum also featured members of the Global Agenda Councils including Phil Gordon,

Mayor, city of Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Khalid Awad, founder of the UAE-based ecodevelopment firm Granea; Fahd Al-Rasheed, Managing Director and CEO of Emaar, The

Economic City in Saudi Arabia; and Ran Xuefeng, Vice-Mayor of the Chinese city of Tianjin. Nick Gowing, presenter, BBC World News was the moderator of the discussion.

Speakers at the second session of the day on “Energy Security and Economic Prosperity in the Region” lauded countries in the region for leading renewable and cleaner energy initiatives to achieve sustainable growth and energy security, despite having a majority share of the world’s hydrocarbon reserves. The session was addressed by Global Agenda Council members Margaret CatleyDavidson, Patron, Global Water Partnership, Canada; M.S. Srinivasan, Chairman, ILFS Tamilnadu Power Company, India; Nejib Zaafrani, SecretaryGeneral and CEO, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy; and Cornelia Meyer, Independent Energy Expert and Chairman MRL Corporatio, UK. Fatima Zahra Daoui, business news presenter of Al Arabiya TV moderated the discussions. “The UAE has successfully diversified its economy with 71 per cent of the national gross domestic product coming from non-oil sectors in 2009. Initiatives such as Masdar will help us build capacities in entrepreneurship, knowledge capital and innovations. The UAE is also developing a 1,400MW civil nuclear power project to meet future demand and it is certified as the ‘gold standard’ in responsible use of nuclear energy,” said His Excellency Sultan Bin Saeed Al-Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, and Co-Chair of the Summit. The Open Forums will resume on Dec 1, the final day of the Summit with a discussion on “Water Security”, followed by a final session entitled “Education and Innovation”.

AppsArabia announces first app available on iPhone Word game Kalimat ready for download in mid December 2010 KUWAIT: AppsArabia, the Middle East’s first and only investment fund created with the sole purpose of developing apps for the region, yesterday announced that its first app, Kalimat, a fun and collaborative iPhone game, has been completed and will be available for download from the App Store in mid December. Dubai based entrepreneur, Fares Fayad, successfully applied for funding from AppsArabia and the app was developed by local app developers Piranha Byte. Kalimat, a highly addictive multiplayer word game with a difference, has two different game play styles so players can challenge friends in local “pass & play” mode or they can challenge friends or random players via the internet. Wayne Borg, Chief Operating Officer, twofour54, said: “The launch of Kalimat, marks a new milestone for both AppsArabia and twofour54 as it represents locally developed content which will have a mass appeal not only in this region, but also internationally. That AppsArabia was able to draw on the skills of the talented individuals that have been a part of the wider twofour54 success story - intaj and ibtikar creative lab, is testament to the effective and supportive ecosystem which we are building here in Abu Dhabi.” “We at twofour54 and AppsArabia would urge anyone with the passion for an app with commer-

cial appeal to approach AppsArabia in order to turn great ideas into world class content,” added Borg. Designed specifically for the iPhone, the launch of Kalimat will coincide with an online video campaign, focusing on the story of the two central characters Kali and Mat over several episodes. The campaign, scripted and filmed by UAE based Arab students follows the hilarious ups and downs of Kali and Mat’s relationship, as a result of Mat’s addiction to Kalimat. Commenting on the launch of Kalimat at the Dubai World Gaming Expo, David Ashford, General Manager of AppsArabia, said: “I am delighted to be able to showcase our first app to consumers and to the industry. Working with an entrepreneur based in the region and local developers to create Kalimat has shown that within the Middle East there is the talent and the passion to create world class content that is relevant to the audience, and most importantly fun.” Ashford added: “Creating the online video campaign about Kali and Mat was a great experience. We shot the footage in the UAE, using scripts developed by students studying at university here, and the filming was all done using twofour54 intaj equipment, staffed by the emerging talent which is really beginning to make the most of twofour54’s grant funding initiative, creative lab.”

Infiniti launches third edition of ‘adeyaka’ magazine in ME

Seven Logitech products selected as CES 2011 Innovations Honourees Revue with Google TV, helps provide seamless control over the Google TV experience and home-entertainment devices such as your HDTV, DVR or AV system. Once Logitech Revue and Google TV are set up, you can use the Logitech Keyboard Controller to navigate and interact with the new world of content available on the biggest and best hi-def screen in the house - the TV screen. The Logitech Keyboard Controller includes everything you need to control your Logitech Revue with Google TV and features a familiar keyboard layout so anyone can start searching without a learning curve. It includes a touch pad with scroll functionality for control in addition to back and home buttons for easy Web page navigation. In addition to the familiar typing and mouse experience, Logitech provides buttons to control your TV, A/V receiver and DVR. These let you power on your TV, turn up the volume on your speakers or access your DVR content without needing to use an additional remote.

DUBAI: Logitech announced that it has won seven 2010 CES Innovations honouree awards for excellence in design and engineering. The award-winning products include the Logitech Keyboard Controller for Google TV, Logitech TV Cam, Logitech(r) Wireless Solar Keyboard K750, Logitech(r) HD Webcam C910, Logitech Wireless Gaming Mouse G700, Logitech Wireless Headset F540 and the Logitech Wireless Headset G930. “Logitech is thrilled to have seven products elevated as CES Innovation Award honourees,” said Gerald P Quindlen, Logitech’s president and chief executive officer. “These products represent Logitech’s commitment to driving innovation and giving people new ways to get immersed in their digital world.” Logitech’s award-winning products for 2011 include: Honouree in Integrated Home Systems: Logitech Keyboard Controller for Google TV. The Logitech Keyboard Controller for Google TV, which comes with the Logitech

DUBAI: Wayne Borg, COO of twofour54 and Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority during Dubai World Games Expo.

DUBAI: Infiniti Middle East has announced the launch of the third edition of its successful luxury magazine adeyaka in the region. adeyaka is currently available in English and Arabic versions, and is distributed via Infiniti’s distributors. This edition features a series of photo driven articles about W David Marx, a prominent journalist who was transported from Tokyo by the Infiniti M luxury performance sedan across the territory in search of the original Japan. Throughout the adventure, Marx explores the work of the story’s ‘characters’, highly skilled and innovative craftsmen and women who all combine old with the new in the manufacture of contemporary pieces destined for a discerning cosmopolitan audience, and which, like Infiniti’s cars, promote memorable experiences and redefine the ethos of today’s luxury. Winner of the 2008 BCP (Best Corporate Publishing) Awards - Europe’s most prestigious awards within the corporate publishing sector adeyaka magazine has become one of the fore-

most ‘customer relationship’ magazines in Europe within only a year of its launch. adeyaka magazine was first launched at the same time as the Infiniti product range was rolled out into the European market in March 2008. It is published twice a year in five separate languages (French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Russian) across Europe, Russia and Canada, and is delivered to its target readers through exclusive distribution channels. Infiniti’s innovative concept of the LobbyLounge-Gallery which is applied to its exclusive IREDI showrooms has been further incorporated into the design of adeyaka. This guarantees readers a completely different perception which upholds Infiniti’s philosophy of Total Ownership Experience (TOE). Keeping up to speed with the latest technologies, Infiniti has also created an online version of the magazine making it available to a larger segment. The electronic version of the magazine can be downloaded from

EXCHANGE RATES Commercial Bank of Kuwait US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian Dollar Australian DLR Indian rupees Sri Lanka Rupee UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi riyals Omani riyals Philippine peso Egyptian pounds

US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian dollars Danish Kroner Swedish Kroner Australian dlr Hong Kong dlr Singapore dlr Japanese yen Indian Rs/KD Sri Lanka rupee Pakistan rupee Bangladesh taka UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi Riyal/KD Omani riyals Philippine Peso

.2775000 .4350000 .3660000 .2790000 .2740000 .2680000 .0045000 .002000 .0763380 .7437430 .3940000 .0730000 .7291070 .0045000 .0490000

.2875000 .4460000 .3750000 .2850000 .2820000 .2770000 .0075000 .0035000 .0771060 .7512180 .4140000 .0780000 .7364350 .0072000 .0560000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2817500 .4377550 .3688950 .2815250 .2760090 .0494970 .0402710 .2708320 .0362860 .2135280 .0033510 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0767290 .7475460 .0000000 .0751630 .7323890 .0000000

.2838500 .4410180 .3716450 .2836230 .2780660 .0498660 .0405710 .2728510 .0365560 .2151190 .0033760 .0062380 .0025570 .0033200 .0040550 .0773010 .7531180 .4014850 .0757240 .7378480 .0064880

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. ASIAN COUNTRIES Japanese Yen Indian Rupees

3.501 6.334

Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal - Transfer Irani Riyal - Cash

3.270 2.508 3.968 218.810 36.220 3.975 6.622 9.458 0.267 0.310 GCC COUNTRIES

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

74.865 77.139 729.380 745.660 76.451

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 51.550 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 48.948 Yemen Riyal 1.317 Tunisian Dinar 204.170 Jordanian Dinar 396.450 Lebanese Lira 187.700 Syrian Lier 6.140 Morocco Dirham 35.749 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 280.630 Euro 401.020 Sterling Pound 455.460 Canadian dollar 280.350 Turkish lire 200.450 Swiss Franc 292.020 Australian dollar 282.170 US Dollar Buying 279.895 GOLD 20 Gram 259.000 10 Gram 131.000 5 Gram 67.500

Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY Australian dollar Bahraini dinar Bangladeshi taka Canadian dollar Cyprus pound Czek koruna Danish krone Deutsche Mark Egyptian pound Euro Cash

SELL CASH 276.100 752.600 4.280 281.100 555.800 14.100 52.700 167.800 52.160 375.500

SELL DRAFT 274.600 752.600 4.020 279.500

217.400 49.014 374.000

Hongkong dollar Indian rupees Indonesia Iranian tuman Iraqi dinar Japanese yen Jordanian dinar Lebanese pound Malaysian ringgit Morocco dirham Nepalese Rupees New Zealand dollar Nigeria Norwegian krone Omani Riyal Pakistani rupees Philippine peso Qatari riyal Saudi riyal Singapore dollar South Africa Sri Lankan rupees Sterling pound Swedish krona Swiss franc Syrian pound Thai bhat Tunisian dollar UAE dirham U.S. dollars Yemeni Riyal

37.180 6.500 0.033 0.265 0.253 3.460 401.880 0.191 92.530 47.000 4.430 214.500 1.924 48.300 735.100 3.400 6.620 78.280 75.560 217.440 42.060 2.695 444.500 42.100 286.400 6.300 9.760 198.263 77.220 283.400 1.370

37.030 6.155 0.032

400.000 0.190 92.530 3.860 213.000 734.920 3.310 6.420 77.650 75.560 217.440 42.060 2.530 442.500 284.900 6.300 9.480 77.120 283.000

GOLD 1,448.850

10 Tola Sterling Pound US Dollar

282.900 280.970 441.425 372.805 282.504 693.380 748.776 76.999 77.682 75.409 399.196 49.005 6.159 3.304

2.535 4.027 6.400 3.362 9.332 6.171 3.836

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Currency

Rate per 1000 (Tran)

US Dollar Pak Rupees Indian Rupees Sri Lankan Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso UAE Dirhams Saudi Riyals Bahraini Dinars Egyptian Pounds Pound Sterling Indonesian Rupiah Nepali rupee Yemeni Riyal Jordanian Dinars Syrian Pounds Euro Candaian Dollars

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 442.500 283.000

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Cyprus Pound Bahrain Dinar UAE Dirhams Qatari Riyals Saudi Riyals Jordanian Dinar Egyptian Pound Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees

Sri Lankan Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Pesso Japanese Yen Thai Bhat Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees

282.950 3.305 6.155 2.545 4.020 6.440 77.110 75.650 752.100 49.000 445.200 0.00003280 4.025 1.550 401.900 5.750 376.400 282.800

Al Mulla Exchange Currency US Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Canadian Dollar Japanese Yen Indian Rupee Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupee Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso Pakistan Rupee Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal

*Rates are subject to change

Transfer rate 282.500 371.500 441.000 278.200 3.395 6.149 48.950 2.529 4.018 6.385 3.300 751.500 77.000 75.300


Wednesday, December 1, 2010


KUWAIT: Officials of Al Mulla Exchange and HDFC Bank address a seminar yesterday.

Indian economy on path to robust growth Al Mulla Exchange, HDFC hold seminar omy, as well as the strength of the local market gave India an upper hand vis-avis other growing global economies. He pointed at some of the distinctly better reforms undertaken by the government in 2010 and how they would further support the growing economy. Among the many factors contributing to the growth he indicated were good governance, systematic transfer of wealth from urban to rural India, e-governance initiatives, significant rise in spending on farm equipment, seeds etc From a $1.3 trillion economy India was all set to become a $30 trillion economy by 2030 according to a Standard Chartered Bank report. While per capita income was expected to go up from $1100 to $7800, making India a middle income country. Dhru, also pointed out some of the main macro-concerns such a inflation, current account deficit and earnings growth in corporate India decelerating. Gaurav Lohia explained the stock market more elaborately giving the audience some useful tips and incisive understanding on profit. His explanation on the stock market evinced a keen interest from the audience. In the end the verdict was clear that India was on path to a long term and robust growth as all indicators pointed to this. A very interactive question answer session was followed up by a sumptuous dinner. As one of the leading exchange houses in the country, Al Mulla constantly endeavors to impart valuable information to its broad based clientele. The seminar was the third in a series of talks held by Al Mulla Exchange and HDFC Bank giving NRI’s a firsthand update on the Indian economy and the developments.

KUWAIT: Al Mulla Exchange and HDFC Bank jointly held a seminar on the Indian Stock Market Story - Bubble or Long Term to a packed audience at the AlAndalous Hall in Crowne Plaza Hotel on Nov 29. More than 350 guests were privileged to hear a very enlightening talk on India’s growth story, as one of the decisive nations shaping the contours of the world economy. Welcoming the gathering Hormuzda Davar, Director, Financial Services at the Al Mulla Group recounted the words of US President Barak Obama during his recent visit to India, stating that India was no longer an emerging economy but one that has emerged. The chief guest for the evening was Harish Engineer, Executive Director and Country Head Wholesale Banking HDFC Ltd. While Keynote speakers Aseem Dhru, Managing Director of HDFC Securities Ltd and Gaurav Lohia, Senior Manager - Equity Research and Private Banking HDFC Bank Ltd then gave a excellent overview of the Indian economy and the stock market’s performance. Dhru, in an excellent presentation gave some valuable pointers on the trends of the Indian economy as well as the underlying factors which made it as preferred investment destination and one of the world’s most rapidly growing markets. He showed through a very brief slide presentation how India was changing and was projected to be the third largest economy in the world in the next 20 years. Dhru also examined various fundamentals of the economy that indicated a very strong and robust growth unlike many countries in the world. The diverse nature of the Indian econ-

Ford, Lincoln boast strong 2011 lineup across ME autoshows KUWAIT: Ford is set to create considerable buzz in this year’s regional motor shows in December as it rolls out worldclass product offerings for 2011 headlined by the exciting new 2011 Ford Edge, the new Mustang 3.7L V6 and the 5.0L V8 GT, and the new 2011 Lincoln MKX. The all-new subcompact B-car, the Ford Figo, also joins the ranks in Oman and Riyadh, marking its regional debut. “Now more than ever, the Ford and Lincoln brands feature one of their most refreshed lineups ever,” said Larry Prein, Ford Middle East’s managing director. “Visitors to the Ford stands at these autoshows will clearly touch upon the tremendous achievements we have scored on design, quality craftsmanship, technology and features. We remain focused on offering what our customers want: breathtaking looks, class-leading features and technologies, as well as awesome driving dynamics and quality, all presented in a great value package.” “Ford continues to deliver on its promise and achieve superb results in light of the One Ford plan,” said Hussein Murad, Regional director of Sales, Ford Middle East. “Visitors to our stands will not only be awed by these great new products, but will clearly understand why more and more customers are voting for the Ford and Lincoln products. Not only

2011 Ford Edge The 2011 Ford Edge created quite a stir when it debuted in GITEX earlier, and rightfully so. Its bold new design has been making heads turn as it blends technology and class-leading powertrains in a revamped package. Dramatic freshening of the 2011 Ford Edge includes extensive exterior redesign, improved materials and craftsmanship on the interior, classexclusive technology and new powertrains.

The new 2011 Edge will wow show visitors across the region’s Motorshows with its dynamic new looks, segment-leading power and 9 class exclusive features.

2011 Ford Figo Ford’s passenger car lineup sees that introduction of a new sub-B compact, the all new Ford Figo, which will debut in Oman and Saudi Arabia at the Motorshows, bringing a smart and affordable contender to retail and fleet customers looking for a quality and value vehicle in the sub-compact segment.

the super performing 412HP 5.0 liter V8 Mustang GT. The new 2011 Ford Mustang puts 305 high-performance horses in the hands of V-6 coupe buyers with a new all-aluminum double-overhead-camshaft (DOHC) engine that delivers 31 mpg (13.18 km/liter) on the highway with a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2011 lineup also sees the modern 5.0liter four-valve Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) V-8 engine in the new Mustang GT, with fuel economy projected to be better than the previous model and unsurpassed in the segment.

2011 Lincoln MKX The 2011 Lincoln MKX luxury crossover features the first application of industry-exclusive MyLincoln Touch(tm) driver connect technology, which creates a whole new way for customers to interact with digital and vehicle technology. Its modern, flowing exterior design embraces Lincoln signature DNA - split-wing grille, bodyside brightwork and new treatments for taillamps and exhaust tips enhance presence. The Lincoln MKX’s all-new interior showcases use of more luxurious materials and attention to detail.

we have had a great year where we gained further market share, but we have had our dealers’ support and commitment to the business, which meant offering a better ownership experience and higher levels of customer satisfaction. All these points converge nicely together during these motorshows and we are thrilled to be part of the action”. First on the roster of auto shows is the Oman International Motor Show (Dec 2-5) followed by the Riyadh Motor Show (Dec 5-9), the Abu Dhabi International Motor Show (Dec 7-11) and the Kuwait

Automobile & Accessories Fair (Dec 12-18). Besides witnessing the awesome new Ford and Lincoln product lineups, visitors of the motor shows will have the chance to take part in various Ford activities and challenges that feature simulator cars, Mustang customization shows, Mustang slot car racing, on-thego foosball matches and more. 2011 Mustang Muscle car enthusiasts will get to check out the legendary Ford Mustang which comes with a choice of an awesome entry level 305HP 3.7LV6 and

Fatma Al-Mokaimi, Othman Younis win the $30,000 weekly cash prize Each week Zain customers have a chance of winning $30,000 KUWAIT: Zain is happy to announce that Fatma Rashed Hussain Al-Mokaimi and Othman Ali Mohammed Younis are the 3rd and 4th winners of the $30,000.00 cash prize in the weekly draw of its recently-launched promotional campaign, aimed at both its prepaid eeZee and postpaid voice and data customers. The campaign, which ends December 31st 2010, allows every Zain customer recharging or settling an invoice of KD 5 or more to be part of the draw, which offers weekly cash prizes worth $30,000.00 and the chance to win the grand prize of a Ferrari California. Zain congratulates the win-

ners and urges all its customers to participate in the campaign by simply recharging or setting their bills on

time. Zain launched this campaign to create a totally new dimension in its devoted relationship with customers.



KSE equities remain bearish KUWAIT: Kuwait’s equities continued to be bearish yesterday. The losses came on the lightest trading day since the January 2009. The market staged its tenth losing session in the past fifteen trading days during November 2010. Kuwait became Japan’s fourth-biggest crude supplier last month by overtaking Iran and Russia, the government said yesterday. Kuwait’s crude oil exports to Japan jumped 25.8 percent in October from a year earlier to 9.81 million barrels, or 316,000 barrels per day (bpd), for the first gain in two months, the Japanese Natural Resources and Energy Agency, a unit of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, said in a preliminary report.


Egypt’s Orascom Telecom plunges on tax fears MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS CAIRO/DUBAI: Egypt’s Orascom Telecom (OT) suffered its largest decline in five weeks yesterday on talk that Algeria will reject its appeal against back-tax claims totalling hundreds of millions of dollars. Middle East markets fell, tracking losses on global bourses as fears that Ireland’s fiscal problems could spread to more euro-zone countries weighed on investor sentiment. “We’re getting close to the year-end and so people are cautious about initiating new big positions,” said Hashem Montasser, EFG-Hermes managing director and head of regional asset management. “They are happy to just tweak their positions and follow global markets, which is why our volumes are low.” OT fell 5 percent, its largest decline since Oct 27. “We’ve had reports in the past few days of a refusal of a request from OT regarding the reconsidering of the tax claims,” said Nader Khedr, an investment and capital market analyst. He said bumps on the road to Algeria choosing an adviser in its planned purchase of OT’s local unit Djezzy were adding to the uncertainty. OT’s Algerian difficulties are complicating a plan to sell most of the Egyptian company to Vimpelcom. Amer Group ended at 2.90 Egyptian pounds ($0.50) on its first day’s trading on the Cairo

Market indices Global General Index (GGI) closed 0.60 points down (0.28 percent), at 215.27 point as the Market capitalization decreased reaching KD34.82mn. On the other hand, Kuwait Stock Exchange Price Index closed in the red zone shedding 23.40 points (0.34 percent) from its value and closed at 6,891 point. Market breadth During the session, 110 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards decliners as 21 equities advanced versus 47 that retreated. Yesterday’s losses came on a light trading day. Volume of shares traded on the exchange decreased by 30.75 percent to reach 88.88mn shares, the value of shares traded decreased by 52.92 percent to stand at KD13.73mn. The Investment Sector was the volume leader yesterday, accounting for 30.59 percent of total shares and the Services Sector was the value leader, with 23.32 percent of total traded value.Company-wise, United Real Estate Company was the

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

volume leader, with a total traded volume of 8.54mn shares. changing hands. National Bank of Kuwait was the value leader, with a total traded value of KD1.10mn. In terms of top gainers, Nafais Holding Co was the biggest gainer for the day, adding 9.43 percent and closed at KD0.058. On the other hand, Heavy Engineering Industries and Shipbuilding Co came in as the biggest decliner, dropping by 6.85 percent and closed at KD0.340. Sector-wise With the exception of the insurance & Real Estate sectors, the market moved only south. Food Index paced the losses, dropping by 1.16 percent as measured by Global’

Food Index. Livestock Transport & Trading Co. was the biggest percentage decliner in the sector, slipping by 1.67 percent, and closing at KD0.295. Kuwait Foodstuff Company (Americana) too reported a 1.27 percent slide. Investment stocks were also a notable loser for the day, Global Investment Index shed 0.82 percent to close at 110.50 points. National Investment Company shed 10fils to close at KD0.420, whilst Kuwait Investment Company shed 1.52 percent to close at KD0.130. National Ranges Company was out with its earnings report during the day. However, results were disappointing. The scrip rose 7.89 percent to close at KD0.0205.

Corporate news Al-Safat Energy Holding said its 60 percent-owned Egyptian unit National Drilling Company has renewed contracts with Libya’s National Oil Corporation for operating four drilling rigs in the North African country for a total amount of $48mn. The four contracts have been renewed for two years starting from the beginning of 2011. They will renew the contract relating to its fifth rig for two years starting from April 1, 2011 and for a total amount of $12mn. Safwan Trading & Contracting Company said it has signed two contracts worth a combined value of $25.47mn to supply drugs to the country’s

health ministry. Safwan Trading & Contracting Company expects to book a profit of $2.8mn on the two deals and that the profit will be reflected in the financial results of the fourth quarter and throughout 2011 depending on the supply orders. Oil News The price of Kuwaiti oil rose $0. 70 per barrel (pb), to $81.94 pb on Monday, compared to Friday’s price of $81.24 pb, KPC said yesterday. The increase was due to the stability of the US dollar exchange rates against other major currencies as a result of taking risks on part of the investors, the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) noted.

bourse, having hit an intraday high of 3 pounds. Its initial public offering price was 2.80 pounds per share. Another debut stock, Aluminium Bahrain ended at 0.915 dinars in Manama, slightly above its IPO price of 0.900 dinars. The stock opened at 1.050 dinars, before giving back most of these gains. The Saudi index fell for a first day in four as Samba Financial Group extended losses, dropping 1.7 percent. Yet the longer-term trend remains positive, said Hesham Abo-Jamee, Bakheet Investment Group head of asset management, with petrochemicals and banks - the two dominant sectors on the bourse - expected to report a quarter-on-quarter rise in fourth-quarter profit. “Bank profits should increase 15 percent after they take lower provisions,” said AboJamee. “Bank shares have fallen sharply, but they are ready to rebound next year.” These expectations are spurring some investors to take positions now, he added. In Doha, Masraf Al-Rayan fell 0.6 percent and Qatar Navigation lost 0.9 percent as traders awaited Thursday’s FIFA vote to decide the host nation for the 2022 soccer World Cup. Qatar is competing against the United States, Australia, Japan and North Korea. —Reuters

US oil falls towards $85 LONDON: Oil fell towards $85 yesterday, consolidating as the dollar hit a 10-week high and the euro fell on worries over the European debt crisis and concerns China may raise interest rates and cap energy demand growth. Traders were also looking for more evidence that US oil inventories would drain with a surge in demand for heating as wintry weather swept across Europe and the United States. Oil prices climbed 2.4 percent on Monday, led by futures for heating fuels such as gas oil, as cold weather raised expectations of higher fuel consumption on both sides of the Atlantic. US crude for January slipped 30 cents to $85.43 a barrel by 1120 GMT after rising $1.97 on Monday, when it briefly touched $85.90, the highest price since Nov. 12.

Prices reached a 25-month high of $88.63 on Nov. 11. ICE Brent lost 17 cents to $87.17 after rising more than 2 percent on Monday. The dollar index against a basket of currencies reached its highest level since midSeptember as the euro tumbled on continuing fears that Ireland’s bailout might not help keep Europe’s debt woes contained. In euro terms, Brent reached its highest level for almost seven months on Tuesday, climbing to above 67 euros per barrel. “Oil rose on Monday on the cold weather but the dollar is also rising and oil cannot continue to def y gravity forever,” said Carsten Fritsch, commodity analyst at Commerzbank. “Oil prices should remain under pressure but may not move decisively until we get the U.S. oil inventory data.” — Reuters


Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Samsung launches 3rd phase of netbooks and notebooks By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Amidst escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Samsung Electronics Company Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, launched its third phase of innovative notebooks and netbooks in Kuwait yesterday. The event was held at the Marina Hotel in Salmiya and attended by Samsung’s Head of Notebooks and IT Sales Raj Varma, Country Head Representative Sachin Somkumar and Gautam M Chakrabarthy, Marketing Manager. Samsung Electronics is a well-known international brand originating from South Korea. Tensions between the two Koreas escalated when North Korea shelled a South Korean fishing community and military base with highly flammable ammunition that killed four people, including two civilian construction workers, on November 23. “The tensions have always been there between the two Koreas and we are not affected by it,” Varma said to the Kuwait Times before the launch. “Although our headquarters is in South Korea, we have factories and international presence all over the world. While we could be affected economically I don’t think it will halt our production or innovations,” he said. “I should not comment further since it’s a political issue and Samsung has nothing to do with it since we are a private company.” Varma added however that Samsung will continue to deliver products “rain or shine” if they are needed by businesses or individuals anywhere in the world. Regarding Samsung’s netbook and notebook launching, Varma emphasized Samsung’s commitment to delivering the finest technology with optimum design to meet the demands of every lifestyle. He admitted that Samsung’s previous products may have had limited choices but pointed out that is certainly not the case with their new lineup. Samsung is putting its achievements in mobile computing on full display, showcasing for the first time this year the premium series and stylishly-designed SF and RF series. “With this new lineup we improved a lot,” Varma said. “Now we have stylishly designed products. We’ve made our products more portable so that

Top officials attend Kuwait ceremony

Raj Varma, Samsung Business Head and IT Sales Group Manager during the netbooks, notebooks launch

KUWAIT: (From left) Raj Varma, Sachin Somkumar and Gautam M. Chakrabarthy attending a press conference yesterday. — Photos by Joseph Shagra they are lighter, smaller and thinner without compromising specifications or strong performance,” he said. The high-performance notebooks are crafted to perform at high standards and are available in 15.6” (NPRF510) screen size. Multimedia lovers and gamers will benefit from the RF series’ super-fast processors and dazzling graphics while the range’s minimalist design and clean lines will appeal to even the most style conscious consumers. Samsung’s RF series notebooks come equipped with nVIDIA’s latest graphics solution - a GT330M video card with 1GB of memory or a GT420M card with 2GB of memory that will make 3D games and HD video shine. The RV series notebooks are designed for style, safety and satisfaction. The powerful and reliable RV410 and RV510 models are designed to enhance a sense of style with optional patterns to choose as well as comfortably fit an on-thego lifestyle with ergonomic engineering and durable casing. The SF series ultra-portable note-

books (Samsung NPSF310 and NPSF410) couple stylish, streamlined design with contoured line and rounded edges for increased mobile convenience. Inspired and elegantly crafted, Samsung has taken a new approach to design and focused on

streamlining the body for fashionable and trendsetting lifestyles. It is available in 13” and 14” screen sizes and shows refined craftsmanship that is both ultra-light and scratch resistant. Samsung NF series netbook is a powerhouse of practical technology to

help you stay connected without compromising its design. The NF series netbooks (Samsung NF110 and NF210) share the unique design of the SF series and boosts mobility with enhanced battery life. Equipped with enhanced mobility and innovative design, the Samsung NF110 and NF210 netbooks are just what you need to express yourself. A crystal clear HD LED display and unique surround sound system, together with the new Intel Atom N550 (Dual Core) processor, DDR3 memory and Windows 7, takes netbook computing to a whole new dimension of multimedia performance. The Samsung SF series and NF series will be available in Kuwait from December 2010. Varma added that Samsung continuously offers something new and excellent for its valued customers. “Transition happens almost every four months. This is now our third time visiting Kuwait for the netbook and notebook products launches this year,” he disclosed. “The products truly demonstrate Samsung’s commitment to RF and RV series note-

books - portable, premium, and powering multimedia.” RF series notebooks are the highest performing products in Samsung’s award-winning portfolio. Samsung’s performance in the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) is excellent according to Varma. Based on their recent records they registered a double digit market share. “In the second quarter of 2010 we were number one in both Qatar and Bahrain but in Kuwait we were num-

grew eight percent in Kuwait. “I think we need to communicate more with our customers in Kuwait and monitor the market. Kuwait is a complicated market and difficult to understand. Your market here is dominated by just two main players; Al-Ghanim and Eureka,” he commented. In response to their product awareness campaign, Samsung is prepared to spend more money in Kuwait come 2011. “We are preparing for our first office outside of the

ber four. I think we still have many things to do in Kuwait in terms of promoting product awareness,” he admitted. According to Varma, Samsung

UAE. We will be opening our new headquarters here in Kuwait because we are committed and we consider this market a very important one in the region,” he said.

European debt worries pile pressure on Spain, others Investors sell off govt bonds MADRID: Investors sold off government bonds from Spain, Portugal and Italy yesterday amid worries that Europe’s debt crisis has not been contained by Ireland’s bailout but is putting pressure on other fiscally weak countries. The yields on Spain’s 10-year bonds jumped as high as 5.7 percent by midmorning, making for a euro-era record difference of 305 basis points against the benchmark Germany 10-year bond, which had a yield of 2.7 percent.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (left) walks with ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan (right) before the launch of the 7th ASEAN Finance Minister’s Investor Seminar in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Najib Razak, while speaking at the seminar, defended a controversial plan to build a 100-storey mega-tower, after it sparked fierce opposition, including from ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad. — AFP

Malaysia plans tax breaks for oil, new investments KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s leader yesterday unveiled plans for tax incentives to bolster its oil and gas industry as well as new multibillion-dollar projects to build energy plants, a massive energy hub and hotels with the aim of becoming a developed nation by 2020. Prime Minister Najib Razak said the government will waive up to 100 percent of taxes on investment in capital intensive petroleum projects to lure investors, especially in deepwater and infrastructure activities. Tax rates will be cut from 38 to 25 percent for development of marginal oil fields, while export duties on oil produced from these fields will be waived. The country has earlier warned it could become a net oil importer in the next few years if production is not enhanced. “By lowering risks and increasing the rewards for investment, this initiative will potentially lead to additional petroleum-generated revenue of more than 50 billion ringgit ($16 billion) for Malaysia over the next 20 years,” said Najib, who is also finance minis-

ter. Officials from national oil firm Petronas, which pushed for the tax breaks, said the incentives are part of a new Petroleum Income Tax Act that has been endorsed by Cabinet, but it is unclear when it will be submitted for Parliament approval. Najib said state-owned energy firm Tenaga Nasional will invest 4 billion ringgit ($1.3 billion) in 2011 to build two new hydropower plants and a large coal plant in peninsula Malaysia to cater to rising domestic demand. Private firm Tanjong Agas Supply Base and Marine Services will pour in 3 billion ringgit ($968 million) over the next two years to develop a regional oil and gas hub in central Pahang state, that will create 30,000 new jobs and contribute 30 billion ringgit ($9.7 billion) to gross national income over a decade, he said. Three new hotels costing nearly 1 billion ringgit ($322 million) will be built by private investors, he said. The projects are part of Najib’s ambitious economic blueprint to secure $444 billion of invest-

ments over the next decade. It aims to raise gross national income from $188 billion in 2009 to close to $523 billion by 2020, and per capita income from $6,700 to at least $15,000 — meeting the World Bank’s benchmark for a high-income nation. Some analysts warned the plan may be unrealistic as foreign direct investment has slumped in recent years, plunging 81 percent to $1.4 billion in 2009 as it lost out to more competitive rivals. Najib dismissed the concerns. “These constitute major developments in attracting investment and transforming our economy by 2020,” he said. “The bright future for the country that we have promised is far from a pipe dream ... we are showing that this government is firing on all cylinders and that a bright future lies ahead for Malaysia.” Analysts said it indicated continued progress and a sign that Najib may, as widely speculated, call a snap general election next year to take advantage of an economy on the upswing as well as an opposition in disarray. — APT

The spread on Italy’s 10-year bond reached 210 points, also the highest since the launch of the euro, before easing back somewhat. Portugal, whose yields soared last week, saw its spread edge higher as well. Spain and Portugal have continually denied they will need a bailout like Ireland and Greece but investors have become increasingly skeptical that the series of bailouts will stop with Ireland. While rescuing Portugal would be about as costly as Greece or Ireland, who each represent less than 2 percent of the euro-zone economy, a Spanish bailout would test the limits of Europe’s finances. It accounts for over a tenth of the euro-zone economy, and Italy is even larger. “It is clear that the market is aware of the tight-rope that ‘peripheral’ governments are walking,” said Neil Mellor, currency strategist at Bank of New York Mellon. Portugal’s central bank warned in a report yesterday that the financial system is facing “serious challenges,” as foreign concerns about public, private and corporate debt have made it harder for Portuguese banks to raise money on international markets. Continuing to request financing from the European Central Bank is “unsustainable,” the report warned, saying banks should adopt a commercial policy of encouraging saving to ensure their liquidity. Traders worry that instability in Portugal could easily cross the border into Spain. Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has vigorously defended the nation’s economy and finances. — AP

MUMBAI: Pedestrians walk past a share prices board outside the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai. Data showed India’s economy grew a forecast-beating 8.9 percent year-on-year in the JulySeptember quarter, underscoring the country’s brisk recovery from the global financial crisis. — AFP

India economy expands 8.9% NEW DELHI: India’s economy expanded 8.9 percent in the latest quarter, exceeding expectations and indicating the country’s recovery is on track despite turbulence globally, particularly in Europe and the US. The rapid growth for the July-September quarter also suggests the central bank will continue raising interest rates to tame inflation. The growth rate matched the expansion in the April-June quarter, which was revised up, and exceeded the government’s forecast of 8.5 percent. India has

rebounded from the global downturn faster than expected thanks to strong domestic consumption, investment and good monsoon rains this year. While enjoying robust growth, Asia’s third-largest economy is trying to contain soaring prices. In early November, India’s central bank raised key interest rates for the sixth time this year to contain persistently high inflation. At 11.6 percent, India’s consumer price inflation is higher than any other major economy. Food inflation for September was

15.7 percent, down from 21.4 percent in May. High food prices are partly due to people eating more protein as they get richer, making it unlikely that good rains alone will wash away food inflation. The manufacturing sector grew 9.8 percent in the latest quarter, slower than 13 percent in the April-June quarter. Factory output growth declined the most in 16 months — to 4.4 percent in September, reflecting a general slowdown in demand across sectors. Meanwhile, the farm sector —

agriculture, forestry and fishing — grew by about 4.4 percent for the quarter. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said he was confident that economic growth for the fiscal year ending March 2011 would exceed 8.75 percent, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. Growth for the last fiscal year was 7.4 percent. “We may be confident that at the end of this year the GDP growth will not be less than 8.7 to 8.75 percent,” Mukherjee said. “It may be more.” — AP



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Conflicting interests thwarts UK bank bonus pact LONDON: Fear of losing staff and concern over placing themselves at a disadvantage to rivals is likely to scupper plans by Britain’s top banks to set a formal pact whereby they all agree to curb their 2010 bonus packages. Last week Standard Chartered dealt the pact a blow by withdrawing from it, and bankers and recruitment advisers said this highlighted the difficulties of getting the various parties involved to reach a deal. “Any formal pact between banks on bonuses is unlikely- they’ve got too much to lose and too little to gain,” said Tim Gilbert, who is managing director of Ambition, a recruitment company specializing in London’s City

finance district. Bonuses are expected to fall this year due to lower profits at most investment banks. The Centre for Economics & Business Research (CEBR) said in October that the City was set for 7 billion pounds ($10.9 billion) worth of bonuses in 2010, down 4 percent from 2009. Executives from Barclays, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland have been in talks over the bonus pact, but Standard Chartered decided to pull out. Standard Chartered, which focuses on Asia, Africa and the Middle East, said it had withdrawn because most of its operations take place outside of Britain. It added that it would pay out

its bonuses as it saw fit. HSBC, which like Standard Chartered has a listing in Hong Kong and makes much of its money outside Britain, declined to comment on the situation but headhunters said maintaining a competitive bonus policy was vital for British banks. “The fact that Standard Chartered has already pulled out of the talks shows that this is not a popular process,” said Ken Brotherston, who is chief executive of financial services headhunting company Kinsey Allen International. “Reducing pay further will not only tempt highly skilled staff to leave for friendlier shores but it will reduce the

amount of cash being pumped into the Treasury coffers by the City,” he added. One reason why a bonus pact may be hard to achieve is due to the vast contrasts in fortunes between the banks involved. Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds have both been part-nationalised by Britain and are recovering from heavy losses incurred during the credit crisis, so the government can make a strong case to clamp down on their remuneration policies. However, Barclays, HSBC and Standard Chartered did not use taxpayers’ money during the crisis, which would give them grounds to

fend off pressure to moderate their bonuses. Furthermore, the British banks would not want to disadvantage themselves with regards to overseas banks working in London, such as the top Wall Street firms which are under less political pressure over their remuneration policies. British bankers have consistently warned that clamping down on remuneration could prompt employees to move overseas to rival centres such as Geneva, Singapore or New York, hurting the overall British economy since these workers would no longer be paying income tax in the country. In October, executives from

French banks Credit Agricole and BNP Paribas criticised European Union proposals to clamp down on bonuses, saying the plans could cause Europe’s banks to lose top staff to American or Asian rivals. Geneva-based hedge fund manager Ion-Marc Valahu said any British bank bonus pact could give people an incentive to quit Britain for the more relaxed tax regime of Switzerland. He added that he did not think any formal pact was likely, and that talks were more likely to revolve around how to come up with a joint public relations plan on the issue. “They’re more likely to get together to discuss how to deal with

the public relations side of things, than to discuss how much each other pays. If you know everybody else’s price, it makes it easier to poach your rival’s staff,” he said. Others also agreed that the bonus pact talks might just be a public relations exercise, and could mask the fact that many banks may seek to compensate for a drop in bonuses by raising their basic salaries. “I think a bonus pact is highly unlikely. You should never underestimate the ability of banks to find their way around rules like this,” said Anthony Thomson, chairman of Britain’s recently-launched Metro Bank. —Reuters

No more on the sidelines, says CEO

BA-Iberia want to lead airline sector consolidation: Walsh

MADRID: British Airway’s Chief Executive Wille Walsh (centre left) and Iberia’s Chairman Antonio Vazquez (centre right) shake hands flanked by cabin crew from the two airlines before a joint British Airways and Iberia news conference in Madrid yesterday. —AP

Strike by Finnish cabin crews to ground flights HELSINKI: More than 100 flights will be canceled in Finland yesterday when cabin crews begin a strike after a breakdown in labor talks between unions and airline representatives, officials said. The strike, set to begin at 1 p.m. (1100 GMT) yesterday, will halt most of Finnair’s domestic traffic and international flights, the national carrier said. Budget airline Blue 1 said its flights also will be affected. National Conciliator Esa Lonka said he was unable to propose mediation because

the two sides are so far apart. “Mediation has been halted. I cannot see room to propose a solution to the negotiating parties, so it means that the labor dispute will continue as a strike,” Lonka said after all-night talks broke down. It was unclear how long the strike would last since no new talks were scheduled. Negotiations for a new collective agreement for cabin crews began in February. The dispute follows a twoday strike last month when 900 airline mechanics walked off the job to protest the use of non-permanent staff by

Finnish airlines and to speed talks on wage increases. Finnair, which has been struggling with declining demand, competition from budget airlines and overcapacity, has recently laid off hundreds of workers and this year doubled an annual savings program target to 200 million euros ($260 million). Most new cuts were aimed at personnel costs. The dispute hinges mainly on working hours and days off. Finnair said union proposals for a new labor contract would increase the airline’s costs by more than 20 percent.

“The most significant cost increases would come from increases in free days and rest days as well as from poorer availability of staff,” Finnair spokesman Anssi Komulainen said. “We are seeking to improve work productivity and to lower unit costs. If a new agreement increases cost levels, it is clear that we will have to look for new solutions for cabin work.” Finnair, which is 56 percent governmentowned, flies to 50 destinations with a fleet of 63 aircraft. It employs 7,600 people. —AP

MADRID: British Airways and Iberia want to lead the airline sector consolidation with their multi-billion-euro merger, the chief executive of the new holding company Willie Walsh, said yesterday. “We don’t want to be on the sidelines, we want to lead the industry’s consolidation,” he told a news conference in Madrid a day after shareholders of both airlines overwhelmingly backed a deal to create Europe’s second biggest airline. The boards of the British and Spanish airlines agreed to the deal-worth more than 6.0 billion euros ($8.0 billion) — in April and EU competition regulators have also given their approval for a full alliance. The companies sought to merge as the global economic downturn and the rise of lowcost airlines resulted in steep losses for traditional carriers. The merger allows the two carriers to catch up with rivals such as Air France-KLM and Lufthansa, according to analysts. BA and Iberia, which will continue to operate independently under their own brands, said recently they have drawn up a list that has remained secret of 12 firms which could be added the newly merged group with the aim of creating the world’s biggest airline. “Our future is a multinational, multibrands airline group. We look forward to welcoming further brands,” said Walsh, who is also BA’s chief executive. Iberia chairman Antonio Vazquez, who is also the group chairman of International Airline Group, the new name for their merged company, said other airlines could be added through “alliances, mergers or acquisitions”. “We are creating an airline sector leader at a time when the process of consolidation is in course and is set to continue,” he added. The tie-up, on schedule to be completed in January, will create Europe’s second-biggest airline by market capitalization after Germany’s Lufthansa. BA is set to benefit from Iberia’s strong presence in Latin America, while the Spanish airline will gain from the British carrier’s strength in North America. Together the two airlines serve 205 destinations around the world, operating 406 aircraft and carry 58 million passengers. —AFP

German unemployment sinks in November BERLIN: The number of people unemployed in Germany fell again in November as the job market benefited from the country’s rebounding economy, according to figures released yesterday by the Federal Labor Agency. The Nuremberg agency said 2.931 million people were unemployed in November, down 14,000 from October — the first time the number of jobless had been under 3 million in two years. The unadjusted jobless rate remained unchanged at 7 percent, while the rate adjusted for seasonal variations was also static at 7.5 percent. Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle noted that the number of people employed also rose by 188,000 from September to October to more than 41 million. “The job market is in the best shape since reunification,” Bruederle said. “This is cause for celebration _ but no reason for complacency ... the looming shortage of skilled workers must not become a brake on growth, therefore we must continue to invest in education and training.” The number of jobless in November 2010 was 284,000 lower than over the same month in 2009, when Germany was just beginning to emerge from the economic crisis. After contracting in 2009, the government is now

predicting full-year growth of 3.4 percent in 2010, cooling to 1.8 percent in 2011. In early November, the government’s independent panel of economic advisers issued an even more optimistic forecast of 3.7 percent this year and 2.2 percent in 2011. “There is plenty of empirical evidence that the German labor market — formerly known for its notorious sluggishness during upswings — is now transforming growth into new jobs,” said Andreas Rees, an economist with UniCredit. Last month was the first time since November 2008 — at the start of the economic crisis — that the number of unemployed fell below 3 million. Still, Germany’s unadjusted jobless rate never rose above 8.7 percent during the crisis. Even at its height, a government-subsidized shorttime work plan allowed employers to reduce production without cutting employees — and that has now left companies well-placed to respond to increasing demand. Labor-market and welfare reforms carried out in the last decade by former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder also have got some credit for the current situation. Under Schroeder, unemployment peaked at more than 5 million in 2005, and the jobless rate reached 12.6 percent. —AP

PARIS: French Finance and Economy Minister Christine Lagarde (left) and Culture and Communications Minister Frederic Mitterrand leave the Elysee Palace after the weekly cabinet meeting yesterday. —AFP

Electra sees deal pipeline back at 2007 levels LONDON: Electra Private Equity said its pipeline of deals is back to 2007 levels and the London-listed firm plans to raise 100 million pounds ($155.8 million) though convertible bonds to fund new investments. “We see the number of quality opportunities having risen by 14 percent over the last six months,” said deputy managing partner Tim Syder in a telephone interview. Electra defines quality opportunities as potential investments it bids for or spends a substantial amount of time analyzing.In the year to end September, Electra considered 147 investments and bid on 16, the company said. New deals include 29.7 million pounds invested to back Esure founder Peter Wood’s buyout of the home and car insurer Lloyds Banking Group.

Electra said its 100 million in convertible bonds, due in 2017, will carry a 5 percent coupon and have a conversion price of 2050 pence, in line with the group’s net asset value (NAV) at the end-Sept. Asset values rose 8 percent in the second half and some 19 percent in the full year. Shares in the group edged up 0.3 percent to 1610 pence at 1000 GMT, but Oriel Securities analyst Iain Scouller said the convertible issue will result in a more complex structure, which he did not believe would be welcomed by the market. “We think the board and management need to give a clear justification for the issue of these bonds, which will potentially result in future NAV dilution and estimated financing costs, which we calculate at 5 million pounds or 14 pence per share per annum,” Scouller said in a note. —Reuters

Kenya monetary council says forex purchases to continue NAIROBI: Kenya’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) said yesterday the east African country’s central bank should continue to participate in the local foreign exchange market to increase its foreign exchange reserves. Dealers have complained that the purchases amounted to intervention but the central bank says its needs to boost reserves to the mandatory four months of import cover. The MPC said the bank had kept out of the market for several weeks in September and October to demonstrate that its frequent purchases of dollars were meant to meet its foreign exchange requirements rather than capping gains by the shilling. “There was no correlation between exchange rate movements and central bank activity and therefore the bank should continue to build up foreign exchange reserves as required by previous MPC decisions,” a statement by the MPC said. After a review of Kenya’s macroeconomic environment last Thursday, the MPC maintained its main interest rate at

6.0 percent, saying growth was on track, inflationary risk was minimal and credit was growing. The government forecasts economic expansion of up to 5.0 percent this year and optimism in east Africa’s biggest economy is growing. Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s raised Kenya’s outlook to B-plus after the country passed a new constitution. The MPC said government borrowing is on track and has not placed undue upward pressure on interest rates although treasury bill yields have ticked up. Short-term interest rates have risen slightly in the last month, said Governor Njuguna Ndung’u, who heads the MPC, as commercial banks showed non-competitive tendencies at Treasury bill auctions. “Close coordination with the Treasury ... kept the cost of borrowing down-it was necessary to send strong messages that the auction for Treasury bills and bonds should be competitive,” the MPC said in a statement. The finance ministry intends to borrow 105.2 billion Kenya

shillings ($12.93 million) from domestic markets this financial year, although analysts predict this will most likely rise because revenue collections have fallen behind target. The MPC has been on an easing cycle since December 2008 with the hope of increasing lending by pushing down commercial rates. Commercial lending rates were responding to policy with average rates coming down, especially with medium-sized banks, the MPC said. Middle-tier banks were loaning money at an average 13.17 percent in October, down from 15.02 percent in May. Loans increased by 34.8 billion shillings in October, 4 percent higher than in August, and represented 70 percent of gross deposits. Non-performing loans accounted for 1.82 percent of total lending, from 2.93 percent in January. “Developments in this area would need to be examined in more detail so as to ensure that the financial sector growth was not curtailed by inappropriate strategies supporting excessively conservative banking behavior,” the statement said. —Reuters

Nigeria summons execs of Shell, Halliburton over graft

FREISING: Seats are empty at the job agency in Freising, southern Germany. The unemployment in the city and region is at 2.3 per cent, the lowest in Germany. —AFP

ABUJA: Nigeria’s anti-corruption police said yesterday they wanted to interview the country heads of Shell and US oil services firm Halliburton as part of investigations into two separate bribery cases. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) briefly detained 10 Halliburton staff for questioning last week in relation to a $180 million bribery case involving the US firm’s former unit KBR. The companies split in 2007

and Halliburton has said it is not connected with the case. The Shell executive had been invited for questioning in relation to a separate $240 million case settled by the oil major and the Swiss logistics firm Panalpina in the United States earlier this month, officials said. “We have invited the MDs (managing directors) of Shell and Halliburton as part of investigations in two separate bribery cases,” EFCC spokesman Femi

Babafemi said. “The $240 million Shell bribery issue has been dealt with in the US and we are looking at the Nigeria end of things.” Last month, the US government said a Panalpina unit agreed to plead guilty in its case, admitting to paying at least $27 million in bribes to officials in at least seven countries including Nigeria, Brazil and Russia between 2002 and 2007 on behalf of its oil and gas industry clients. —Reuters


Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Bush praises Obama on Facebook broadcast DALLAS: Former President George W Bush has pledged not to publicly criticize his successor, Barack Obama, but he did offer some praise Monday during a live broadcast on Facebook to promote his new book. Bush participated in an hour-long discussion on Facebook Live with the site’s founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and was asked what he thought the current administration was handling well. The former president responded that he liked Obama’s policy on Afghanistan. “I think the idea of putting more troops in was something that I can applaud,” Bush said. “I also appreciate some of the education posi-

tion. As I understand it they do believe strongly that accountability is necessary in order to achieve excellence in the classrooms.” As the discussion started, Zuckerberg asked Bush why he decided to appear on Facebook. Bush quipped: “Because you’ve got a lot of people paying attention to us, and I’m trying to sell books.” He then told Zuckerberg that he loves entrepreneurship and a country that could help make someone like Zuckerberg able to realize his dream and, in turn, create jobs for many people. “Yours is a really interesting company, and plus:

I’m shamelessly marketing,” he said. Bush, whose book, “Decision Points,” was released earlier this month, visited Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California, fielding questions from Zuckerberg, Facebook employees and those watching online who submitted questions during the broadcast on the company’s streaming video channel. “I’ve written this book because I recognize there’s no such thing as accurate shortterm history. I want to give future historians a perspective: mine,” he said, adding, “I’ve also written it for people who wonder what it’s like to be president.” Zuckerberg told

Bush that he admired him for sticking with what he thought was right. Bush said that after moving from Washington to Dallas he became a “Blackberry person” but is now an “iPad person.” When asked what songs he had on his iPod, Bush said he didn’t use it anymore when riding his mountain bike: “I like to hear the birds.” Bush quickly revised the statement, joking: “That’s not true. I’ve got ‘Decision Points’ on my iPod.” On more serious questions, Bush said he still believes Iraq has the ability to be a stable democracy. “It’ll work. We just have to hang in there,” he said. After the conversation

turned to the recent release of more than a quarter-million classified diplomatic files posted by WikiLeaks, Bush said, “Leaks are very damaging and people who leak ought to be prosecuted.” “When you have a conversation with a foreign leader and it ends up in the newspaper, they didn’t like it. I didn’t like it,” Bush said. Bush said that “one of the great moments” of his life came this fall when he and his father, former President H.W. Bush, took the mound during the World Series between the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. He added that he feels it’s a

blessing to be able to spend time with his parents as they are getting older. “I was given a great gift by George H.W. Bush, and that’s unconditional love,” he said. “If you are fortunate enough to be a father, my advice is love your child with all your heart and soul,” he said. A little over halfway through the chat, the screen indicated that about 6,500 people were watching online. As he wrapped up the discussion, Bush said that he was blessed and content. “If you see me in an airport, I hope you wave with all five fingers, but if you don’t you won’t be the first,”Bush said. “I’m a comfortable guy.”— AP

Tablets taking bite out of PC sales: Gartner PC sales forecast to total 352.4m units in 2010 worldwide WASHINGTON: Worldwide personal computer sales are on track to set a new record this year but tablets like Apple’s iPad are taking a bite out of the sector, technology research firm Gartner said Monday. Worldwide PC sales are forecast to total 352.4 million units in 2010, up 14.3 percent over last year, Gartner said, but down from the firm’s previous 2010 PC sales forecast in September of 17.9 percent growth.

AHMEDABAD: Vikas Mundhra, Branch CEO of Best IT World, demonstrates the waterproof ‘Floater’ mobile in a glass of water during the launch of iBall mobile phones in Ahmedabad. Organizers claim the Floater is India’s first floatable phone. —AFP

Wi-Fi lifeline reaches remote Himalayas NAGI: It used to take teacher Mahabir Pun more than two days to check his email from his home in the remote Himalayan village of Nagi in western Nepal. The 55-year-old would walk for seven hours to the nearest road before taking a three-hour bus ride along precarious mountain tracks to the only town in the area with an Internet connection. Today, all Pun has to do is log on to the wireless network he has set up over the past few years, catapulting more than 100 impoverished villages in Nepal into the 21st century. The technology has transformed lives in some of the most inhospitable places on earth, where there are no roads or hospitals and where most people scratch out a meagre living as subsistence farmers. It allows communities to access vital medical expertise via videolink, stay in touch with loved-ones abroad, and even sell their yaks, goats and chickens online on sort of e-Bay for local farmers. “We chose areas where no commercial Internet service provider would ever go,” says Pun, who estimates that around 70,000 people can access the network. “When we started, almost no one in rural Nepal was using the Internet. Now we have connected more than 100 villages. But that is nothing, there are thousands more villages like these in Nepal.” It all started when Pun travelled to the United States in the 1990s to study for a masters degree. The Internet was just becoming popular, and one of his professors suggested they set up a web site for his home village. It was one of the first Internet sites to mention Nepal, and by the time he returned home, Pun was being bombarded by messages from people around the world who wanted to visit the 800-strong mountain community. “At that time, not even businesses in (the capital) Kathmandu had websites, but Nagi did,” he told AFP in his native village, 2,200 metres

(7,200 feet) up in the Himalayas. “I was getting emails from all sorts of people including doctors and college professors, and they all wanted to know what they could do to help our village. So I invited them to come and volunteer.” Pun decided his students should learn about this emerging new technology, but the school could not afford to buy a computer. So he asked everyone who came to bring a component, and set about teaching himself to build one. He organized a collection centre in the backpacker district of Kathmandu, and managed to put together around a dozen makeshift computers, building them in wooden crates and distributing them to schools in the area. But it was not until 2002 that, with the help of volunteer students, a plan was formed to hook up the village to the Internet using a wi-fi connection from the nearest major town, Pokhara. There were myriad challenges. No one had ever tried to build a wi-fi network at such a high altitude before, and a series of relay towers had to be built to beam the signal through the narrow valleys. All the construction materials had to be carried up the mountain by hand along with the solar panels needed for power. The highest stands at 3,600 metres, and is manned by a yak farmer who has to check the connections daily. Mains electricity had still not reached any of the villages, and to make things even more difficult, Nepal was in the grip of a bloody Maoist insurgency and Nagi had fallen completely under the control of the leftist guerrillas. “The Maoists had eyes everywhere. They used to come and ask lots of questions, but they didn’t know much about the Internet,” says Pun. “All the parts we used were totally illegal. If the army had come here more frequently, they would have put a stop to it.” Once again, Pun asked his foreign volunteers to bring what they could to help-cus-

toms officials, he reasoned, would be unlikely to suspect Western backpackers of smuggling in contraband communications equipment. Nagi was the first village to be connected, and by September 2003, five villages in Myagdi district, around 200 miles (300 kilometres) north-west of Kathmandu, were accessing the network. Now, Pun operates two networks that connect more than 100 villages to the Internet-a significant achievement in a country where just 6.3 percent of people have online access. In 2007 he was awarded the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay prize-widely viewed as the Asian equivalent of the Nobelfor community leadership. But he is determined to avoid the world of “conferences, resolutions and commitments,” and has said he only accepted because the 50,000-dollar prize could help put more villages online. To keep costs down, Pun travels around the country by public bus and works from a tiny office in his family home. The local Internet service provider charges a discounted rate of 45,000 rupees (640 dollars) a month for the connection, with the cost shared between dozens of villages in the area. In Nagi, they have set up a paper-making business to raise funds, and Pun is working with the government to create a new trekking route he hopes will bring much-needed tourist dollars to the villages. In the packed computer room at Nagi school, the impact on the community is clear. At one terminal sits 63-year-old Amar Pun whose three children, like many Nepalese, have moved abroad, unable to find work in their home country. “They send news of their lives by email and I send back news of the village. It feels great to be in touch, I love hearing from them,” he says. Teenagers chat on Facebook to friends in neighbouring villages, watch Nepalese pop music on YouTube and look up the latest gossip on their favourite football players. — AFP

In 2011, worldwide PC sales are forecast to reach 409 million units, up 15.9 percent over this year but down from Gartner’s earlier estimate of 18.1 percent growth next year. “These results reflect marked reductions in expected nearterm unit growth based on expectations of weaker consumer demand, due in no small part to growing user interest in media tablets such as the iPad,” Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal said in a statement. “Over the longer term, media tablets are expected to displace around 10 percent of PC units by 2014,” Atwal said. Gartner last month said sales of tablet computers like the iPad are expected to soar from nearly 20 million units this year to 55 million next year and over 208 million in 2014. Apple began selling its iPad in April and a number of other companies have since begun producing the multi-media devices, which can be used to surf the Web, read electronic books, watch video and more. Raphael Vasquez, research analyst at Gartner, said “PC market growth will be impacted by devices that enable better on-the-go content consumption such as media tablets and next-generation smartphones. “These devices will be increasingly embraced as complements if not substitutes for PCs where voice and light data consumption are desired,” Vasquez said. Gartner said the PC industry was facing a number of challenges. While emerging markets were expected to gain over 50 percent of the total worldwide PC market by the end of 2011, Gartner said, “there is good chance that consumers (in emerging markets) will simply leapfrog PCs and move directly to alternative devices in the coming years.” Gartner said consumers in the United States and Europe were postponing PC purchases because of economic uncertainty but “the bigger issue for PCs in the home market is consumers temporarily, if not permanently, forgoing PC purchases in favor of media tablets.” “Media tablet capabilities are expected to become more PC-like in the coming years, luring consumers away from PCs and displacing a significant volume of PC shipments, especially mini-notebooks,” Gartner said. “Media tablets are rapidly finding favor with PC buyers who are attracted to their more-dedicated entertainment-driven features and their instant-on capability,” the research firm added. — AFP

Chinese micro-blog re-emerges BEIJING: An early Chinese clone of micro-blog site Twitter that was shut down by authorities last year amid fears it was fanning unrest in the country’s restive west has re-emerged. Fanfou, which is widely believed to have been the first Chinese provider of such micro-blogging services, was restored last Thursday, the Beijing Evening Post reported. Fanfou had more than one million users before it was forced to go offline in July last year

during a government crackdown on social networking after deadly riots in Urumqi, capital of the northwestern Xinjiang region. Beijing claimed the unrest, the worst ethnic violence in China in decades, which officials said left nearly 200 people killed and 1,700 injured, was organized through the web and mobile phone messages. Chinese government censors also blocked US-based Twitter around that time. It remains

inaccessible in China. Bill Bishop, who blogs on China’s Internet, said it was unclear why Fanfou would be allowed to restart now. “I would assume they would have had to do a lot of lobbying” to reassure government censors that their services will not be too controversial, said Bishop. Fanfou’s website crashed last week as large numbers of visitors tried to log on, the Beijing Evening Post said on Sunday, but users can still see the site via their mobile

phones. Wang Xing, founder of Fanfou, attributed troubles with the website to technical problems, the report said. It made no mention of why the site was shut down last year or why it was back up again. China has a huge online censorship system that aggressively blocks sites or snuffs out Internet content and commentary on topics considered sensitive, such as China’s human rights record and criticisms of the government. — AFP

SEOUL: South Korean women display Apple’s iPad at a KT shop at its launch in Seoul yesterday. —AFP

Apple’s iPad goes on sale in S Korea SEOUL: Apple’s iPad went on sale yesterday in South Korea, three weeks after the local giant Samsung Electronics launched its rival tablet computer the Galaxy Tab in its home market. One hundred invited preorder customers, anxious to get their hands on the popular new gadget, lined up before dawn at a downtown Seoul branch of wireless operator KT, the sole Korean partner for iPhones and iPads. First in line was Lee Jun-Young, 39, who slowly unwrapped the box with a wide

grin on his face, then raised his iPad high above his head. “I love it. I’ve waited for the iPad for such a long time,” Lee, who said he also has an iPhone 4, told the newspaper Money Today. “I plan to use the iPad on my way to work and at home to study English.” KT said it had received 50,000 preorders for the iPad since November 17. “We’ve started distributing it nationwide. Customers are receiving their preordered iPads at the moment,” said

KT spokesman Ham Young-Jin. The company earlier announced the popular gadget would start selling at 218,000 won (192 dollars) with a two-year contract, rising to 865,000 won for models with additional features. Samsung Electronics, the biggest rival of Apple, has already introduced its seven-inch screen Galaxy Tab in the United States and Italy and aims to sell over a million units globally by the end of this year. Apple has sold over seven million iPads worldwide since its January debut. — AFP

US radiation concerns overdue: Siemen executive CHICAGO: To Dr Bernd Montag, head of imaging at Siemens Healthcare, fears in the United States over excessive radiation exposure from CT scans are not overblownthey are overdue. Montag said he and others at the company were surprised it has taken so long for US patients and radiologists to raise concerns over the radiation dose delivered by advanced diagnostic scans such as computed tomography or CT scanners. “I don’t think it’s overblown,” Montag told Reuters in an interview. The lanky chief executive of the imaging and therapy systems division of Germany’s Siemens AG says his company- one of the biggest producers of CT scans in the worldhas been working on strategies to reduce radiation dose for many years, spurred by higher awareness among Europeans over the potential cancer risk from repeated diagnostic scans. CT scans deliver much more radiation than conventional X-rays. High doses of

radiation can cause skin burns, cataracts, and in extreme cases cancer and death. “To some extent, we were waiting for it,” Montag said on the sidelines of a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago. Recent studies on CT radiation risks and several cases of radiation overdose have drawn new focus on medical imaging. A report last year by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement found that Americans receive seven times more radiation from diagnostic scans than in 1980. Overuse of the scans, designed to give radiologists a clearer view inside the body, have been part of the problem. Use of advanced imaging machines in hospital emergency departments tripled between 1998 and 2007, a team from Johns Hopkins University reported last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Radiation exposure became a major concern in

October 2009 after the FDA said it was investigating 206 cases of patients being exposed to toxic doses of radiation during CT scans of the brain at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The US Food and Drug Administration said last month it was aware of at least 385 patients who received excessive radiation from CT brain perfusion scans performed at five hospitals in California and one in Alabama. The agency has asked makers of CT scanners to add alerts to their consoles to warn a high radiation dose and to offer extra training programs. Montag said Siemens is in compliance with the FDA’s regulations. He said the company is aiming to have most of its products deliver a radiation dose of below 2.4 millisieverts, which is the level of background radiation people are exposed to each year from soil and rocks in the ground or riding in an airplane. Researchers say a radiation dose of 50 millisieverts starts

to raise concerns about human health and a dose of 100 millisieverts can raise the risk of cancer. Montag said half of the company’s products are below the 2.4 millisievert level now, and 70 percent of the company’s newest scanners produce below that dose. Montag says companies will need to communicate radiation dose in a way that most patients can understand. Siemens has partnered with a group of radiologists to form the Siemens Radiation Reduction Alliance, with the goal of getting feedback on what the company needs to do to reduce dose. The business unit, which has had revenue of $16 billion so far this year, has stepped up its education efforts in hospitals, focusing on training people who operate its equipment and paying attention to possible trouble times, such as how the equipment is used at night. Other CT equipment makers include General Electric, Toshiba Corp, Hitachi Ltd and Philips.— Reuters



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A bit more vitamin D is good, not too much Excess of vitamin D, calcium can damage tissue WASHINGTON: Vitamin D and calcium have been hailed as a possible antidote for cancer, heart disease and more, but a panel of US and Canadian doctors said yesterday that the duo’s only sure benefit is bone health. After reviewing about 1,000 studies on the supposed links between low Vitamin D levels and higher risk of serious diseases, the panel con-

cluded that they showed inconsistent results, sometimes due to shoddy research methods. The experts also issued new guidelines-the first since 1997 — for North Americans, saying people should take between 700 and 1,300 milligrams of calcium and anywhere from 600 to 800 international units of vitamin D each day. Most people “probably don’t have vitamin D deficiency, that is the first message,” said Glenville Jones, a Canadian doctor who was on the 14-member committee for the US-based Institute of Medicine. “We think there has been an exaggeration of the public’s interest in vitamin D deficiency. (People) should be reassured that vitamin D deficiency is quite rare in North Americans at this point in time.” Just by eating a balanced diet and possibly taking a vitamin supplement in the winter, because sun exposure boosts vitamin D levels, most North Americans would have no difficulty meeting the recommended allotment, he said. The panel’s establishment of new guidelines offer a more solid recommended JAKARTA: Komodo dragons eat chickens at Jakarta Ragunan Zoo. The komodo dragon is a vulnerable species daily dose than the 1997 found on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list, with approximately 4,000 to 5,000 living approach of suggesting adequate intake (AI) amounts. in the wild. —AFP The previous recommendations set the amount of calcium at between 210 and 270 milligrams per day for babies, 500 to 1,300 for children aged one to 18, 1,000 per day for adults aged 19-50 and 1,200 for those 50 and older. For vitamin D, the old recommendations were 200 international units for those under age 50, 400 IU for people 51-70 years old and 600 IU for those over 71. Jones declined to characterize the new guidelines as KUWAIT: Bayer areas of operations. Bayer tion with building lifecycle cost East, an architectural practice higher than before, saying it MaterialScience, one of the MaterialScience has been a reduction on the one hand and specialized in sustainable town would be like “comparing world’s largest polymer com- long-standing trusted partner cementing Middle Eastern planning and structural engiapples to pears.” Humans companies’ pole position in the neering founded by the panies, announced the launch of the construction industry.” need calcium to help clot An interdisciplinary net- race for viable green city mod- German architects Elfers, of its path-breaking blood and for proper funcEcoCommercial Building work of member companies in els on the other,” said Dr Geskes and Kraemer with tioning of muscles and Program in the Middle East. sustainable construction, the Thomas Braig, Head of The Samir Khanfar, a civil engineer nerves, and vitamin D is necBuilding from UAE; SAT Insulation Building EcoCommercial Successfully launched in key EcoCommercial essary for the body to absorb markets such as Europe, the Program involves a holistic Program Region Europe, Materials Industry, a subUnited States of America and planning approach to building Middle East, Africa. “With the sidiary of SAT Group based in calcium. Inadequate calcium China, the EcoCommercial design and deploying innova- launch of the EcoCommercial Dubal, UAE, producing enerhas been shown to lead to Building Program enables deci- tive materials and state-of-the- Building Program in the gy-efficient, noise-reducing bone fractures and osteosion-makers in the public and art technology from the very Middle East, together with our and air quality improving air porosis. Rather than network members we are duct systems for HVAC appliprivate sector to implement beginning. The experts noted that projects from low-energy pas- installing air-conditioning and bringing a premium offering for cations; Bayer Sheet Europe, some populations are likely sive to zero-emissions build- building technology in a fin- ecologically sound construc- producer of high-grade polyto need more Vitamin D than building, the tion to a vibrant growth carbonate sheets for a range of ings with increased user com- ished other groups-including applications in construction Building region,” he added. fort and reduced lifecycle EcoCommercial breastfed babies, people with Bayer Technology The founding members in and costs. The initiative serves as Program starts with optimizing dark skin and those living in a perfect complement to’ the the shape and material consis- the program’s Middle East net- Services (BTS) Middle East, northern latitudes where thrust of the regional tency of the building envelope work include: Bolidt, a leading offering building lifecycle daylight exposure is limited. Governments to promote sus- for local climatic conditions in manufacturer of sustainable analysis and planning as well as Also, the panel did not tainable development by focus- order to diminish primary synthetic flooring from The engineering services. entirely rule out all benefits “Cost-effective widespread Netherlands; Building ing on energy-efficient build- energy consumption levels. from Vitamin D or all studies Solutions implementation of green buildIn a second step, the net- Components ings. that suggested beneficial ‘Energy efficiency in build- work identifies custom-tai- (BCOMS), a leading construc- ings is a key challenge faced by links. “There are claims ings is one of the most effec- lored solutions for sources of tion materials company in the regional governments and the about vitamin D in heart distive levers in tackling green renewable energy production, Middle East, manufacturing private sector as they embark ease, in cancer, autoimmune house gas emissions and such as photovoltaics and solar pre-insulated sandwich panels on ambitious infrastructure diseases-you name it, there ensuring sustainable patterns thermal energy for combined for roof and wall insulation, and development programs. The of consumption of scarce cooling, heating and power, to a subsidiary of Zamil Group region’s projected rapid urbanare claims out there that are resources from fossil fuels to minimize emissions. Lastly, based in Khobar, Saudi Arabia; ization means that an additionnot based upon a lot of studwater,” said Stephan innovative flooring and sound Fermacell, a German company al 86 million people will ies,” said Jones. “Our dilemRosenthal, Managing Director absorption materials help to and a global leader in high-per- require a sustainable urban ma is that there are mixed of Bayer Middle East, at the maximize user comfort and formance multi-purpose build- infrastructure within the next reports that are not all conlaunch event. “Green building health. “Sustainable buildings ing boards from recycled gyp- ten years according to World sistent,” said Jones, who is a solutions are therefore a focus serve as a driver of both eco- sum and recycled cellulose Bank estimates,” said Pejman professor of biochemistry at of the Bayer Climate Program - nomic value and reputation. fibres for optimal internal Norastehfar, Head of the Queens University in Building our policy to develop sustain- The EcoCommercial Building space planning, based in Abu EcoCommercial Kingston, Ontario. able solutions across all our Program offers a win-win solu- Dhabi; planquadrat Middle Program in the Middle East, “Some of the studies are explaining the relevance of the not well controlled,” he said. network’s offering to the “We don’t want to base pubregion. “Together with our lic health recommendations regional network members, we upon a mixed conclusion are thrilled to be in a position where some studies say to contribute to the continued there is a benefit in cancer success and role-model characand other studies say they ter of the region in pioneering don’t,” he added. Jones sustainable construction and would not rule out the possiurban planning, and invite furbility that future studies ther highly qualified companies to join our network.” could result in more certain The Middle East is one of benefits toward beating canthe key markets for Bayer cer and other diseases, but MaterialScience, and has been said “the only really consisinvolved with Masdar City in tent information that was Abu Dhabi since January 2010 well worth using was inforthrough an agreement with mation on bone health.” The Mubadala Development panel also set upper limits Company. The agreement for both calcium (2,000 milfocuses on developing the ligrams per day) and vitamin Bayer MaterialScience D (4,000 IUs per day), EcoCommercial Building beyond which point risks Program through the proposed such as kidney and tissue construction of an damage begin to mount. EcoCommercial Building pro“Higher levels have not totype in Masdar City. Energybeen shown to confer optimized solutions by Bayer greater benefits, and in fact MaterialScience are already they have been linked to incorporated at the Al-Falah other health problems, chalReady Mix laboratory on the Masdar City site. The laboratothe concept that CONCORD: This photo shows milk fudge from Fany Gerson’s ‘My Sweet Mexico’. ry already sets clear standards lenging ‘more is better,’” the report A great variety of flavors can be enjoyed with this milk fudge recipe. —AP in terms of climate protection. said. —Reuters

Bayer MaterialScience introduces eco agenda EcoCommercial Building Program to drive ME’s development

GELSENKIRCHEN: A polar bear enjoys the first snow at the German zoo, Monday, Nov 29, 2010. Winter has arrived all over Germany with heavy snowfall and ice. —AP

Watchdog warns of elevated Mediterranean temperatures Profound impact seen on water, crops, fish stocks BRUSSELS: Children born today in countries such as Spain and Italy will witness a 7 degrees Celsius rise in summer temperatures by the end of their lives, the European Union’s environment watchdog warned yesterday. Deaths due to heat shock will rise, southern crops such as grapes will be pushed northwards and flagship European plants such as Switzerland’s edelweiss will face extinction, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said. “All across Europe we can begin to see the warning signs of climate change,” EEA director Jacqueline McGlade said, as the agency launched its 5yearly assessment of Europe’s environment. “We can see a mismatch between the emergence of birds and the foods they would normally eat; fisheries are being infiltrated by species from the south; some species of crops are already struggling to survive,” she told Reuters in an interview. Alpine glaciers will melt within decades, northern countries will get up to 20 percent rainier by the end of this century and the number of days hotter than 40.7 degrees Celsius will double along Mediterranean coasts by 2080, the report says. The predictions come the day after talks started in Cancun, Mexico on moves to combat climate change. They also come amid evidence from Britain and the United States

that 2010 is among the hottest years on record. “By the time that children who are born today get to their seventies and eighties they’ll have already had to adapt to increasing temperatures,” said McGlade. “On a daily basis during the summer, they’ll be experiencing temperatures of more than 40 degrees centigrade in southern Europe.” Experts at the EEA say that by the end of the century, annual heat-related deaths could be double the 70,000 in the European heat wave of 2003. Melting ice “The choice will be between putting water into agriculture or water into drinking,” said McGlade. “Today, already in some countries, agriculture consumes 80 percent of the water that arrives on the territory.” Crops that have deep cultural significance-Spanish oranges, French lavender, Italian grapes-could be profoundly affected. “Greek olives for example are likely to be able to withstand the higher temperatures, but some of the vineyards we see growing grapes today may have to change some of the species and forms they use,” said McGlade. “In mountain regions, there are iconic species, for example the edelweiss, that will struggle to survive,” she added, referring to the white, alpine flower that appears on Austrian coins and is an unof-

ficial symbol of Switzerland. The EEA’s 5-year assessment also had warnings for Europe’s Arctic regions: “The data from 2007, 2008, and 2009 show that Arctic sea ice cover is shrinking significantly faster than projected by climate models.” McGlade said melting permafrost was already causing problems for the region’s inhabitants. “In the north, the story is very stark,” she said. “Populations inhabiting these regions have subsidence in their towns and cities, roads are being disrupted and the way of life is significantly changing.” Warming temperatures will, however, mean fewer deaths in the north due to freezing. The report says Europe has warmed more than the global average, with average temperatures now 1.3C higher than the 1850-1899 average, compared to an average global rise of around 0.7 degrees Celsius. Rainfall is projected to increase by roughly 10-20 percent during this century in northern Europe and to decrease by a similar amount in the south. North Africa is also expected to suffer, said McGlade. “Unless those countries on the southern part of the Mediterranean can solve the issue of water in particular, generations will be looking to move to places where they can be more secure for food and ultimately employment,” she said. —Reuters

news briefs Diet drug faces US test WASHINGTON: The last of a trio of diet drug hopefuls faces scrutiny next week, after two rivals failed to convince US regulators that marginal weight loss associated with their drugs made up for major health risks. Orexigen Therapeutics, which has partnered with Takeda Pharmaceutical, is hoping its experimental obesity drug Contrave can tap into the potentially huge US market, where two out of three Americans are overweight.

Human excreta may help LONDON: Human excreta could have a key role in securing future food security, helping prevent a sharp drop in yields of crops such as wheat due to a shortage of phosphorus inputs, a UK organic body said on Monday. “It is estimated that only 10 percent of the three million metric tons of phosphorus excreted by the global human population each year are returned to agricultural soils,” Britain’s largest organic certification body, the Soil Association, said.

Congress votes to delay pay cut to doctors WASHINGTON: Legislation to postpone for one month a hefty cut in payments to doctors who participate in the US Medicare health insurance program for the elderly and disabled won final US congressional passage on Monday. On a voice vote, the House of Representatives approved the measure, earlier passed by the Senate, clearing the way for President Barack Obama to sign it into law before a 23 percent pay cut is set to go into effect today.

Robotic assist eases less hysterectomies NEW YORK: Women undergoing surgery for endometrial cancer can confidently opt for a minimally invasive hysterectomy performed by a skilled surgeon-with or without a robot’s help-suggests a new review of surgical outcomes. The researchers found that the two advanced minimally invasive tech-

niques led to similar results, and both appeared to be generally superior to the traditional open procedure.

Austere times demand healthcare efficiency LONDON: Cash-strapped governments can no longer raise spending to improve healthcare at the breakneck pace of recent decades, so they must make systems more efficient to offer quality care at no extra cost, the OECD said Monday. The Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) noted that improving efficiency can do more to raise life expectancy than simply spending extra money.

Fish health benefits NEW YORK: It may be a red herring to worry over whether people who eat lots of fish may lose whatever heart benefits they might have gained because of an increased exposure to mercury, a new study shows. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish is thought to rank high on the list of heart-healthy foods. But it has a potential dark side: many fish species that wind up on the plate have high levels of mercury, a known neurotoxin.

Skipping breakfast NEW YORK: Skipping breakfast may not change how much food a kid eats during the rest of the day, suggests a new study. But missing the morning meal still carries consequences, the researchers’ caution.

Fibroids more common NEW YORK: Women who were abused as children are more likely to develop uterine fibroids as adults, a new study finds. The results suggest that the consequences of child abuse can last way beyond childhood, study author Dr Renee Boynton-Jarrett of the Boston University School of Medicine told Reuters Health. —Reuters

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Grand celebrations of Children’s Day by KTS ovember 14 each year is celebrated as Children’s Day in N India to commemorate the birth anniversary of the first Prime Minister of free Indian Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. He was a great lover of children and rightly believed that children were the future of a nation. Like in the ear-

lier years, Kuwait Tamil Sangam (KTS) celebrated Children’s Day by organizing a grand cultural evening presented by children of the members on 26th November 2010 at the Indian School Auditorium, Khaitan, Kuwait. 82 children participated in the various items, which included

orchestra, skits, dances, songs and fancy dress. The high quality of the presentations reflected the hard work the children had put in to rehearse their parts and also the creativity of the lady members who produced and coordinated the entire program. The children regaled the audience of

more than 300 consisting of members and their families. Thamiz Pulavar Thiru Velayudham was the Guest of Honour who distributed the mementos and testimonials to the participating children. In his address, Pulavar Velayudham was all praise for organizations like

Kuwait Tamil Sangam, which are striving to preserve and promote Indian cultural heritage and imbibing a sense of belonging to India amongst the Indian children. He appreciated the efforts of KTS in fulfilling its social responsibility by adopting SIRAGU, a charitable organization

running a school for destitute children in Chennai. KTS had donated Rs 1.5 lakhs to this organization on the occasion of Diwali in early November 2010. In addition to organizing the Diwali celebrations for the school children, the funds will be used by SIRAGU to install a

“Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Plant” which will provide drinking water to the 400 children studying the school on a permanent basis. On this occasion, KTS also honored Tamil Teacher Indira Selvarangan for her contribution to the cause of Tamil language in Kuwait.

‘Mappila Paattu’ musical show Shouyoukh, will bring together ai Hind TV in association with more than 16 top-notch ‘Mappila Connexxions Media is presenting Ja spectacular ‘Mappila Paattu’ musi- Paattu’ singers from Kerala on a cal show to celebrate the 70th television episode of its most popular reality show. The mega musical show, to be held on Friday, December 3, 2010 from 7pm onwards at the Marina Hall auditorium, Touristic Park, Jleeb Al-

Kuwait Expatriate Greater Noakhali Samity bids farewell to Dr Naser uwait Expatriate Greater Noakhali Samity bade farewell to Dr Naser Ahmed a K renowned Bengali literature on the occasion of his leaving Kuwait. The program was held on 11th November 2010 at Guishan hotel in Kuwait City and it was presided over by Alauddin Ala the president of Kuwait Expatriate Greater Noakhali Samity. Homebound Dr Naser Ahmed the chief adviser to the samity was the guest of honor. The special guests were Dr Humayun Kabir Chowdhury. A H M Nazrul Islam country manager of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Chief patron of the samity Shahid Islam Papul Managing director and CEO of

Arpan holds cooking competition he much-awaited cooking Tcompetition announced by Arpan Kuwait will be held today from 7pm to 8pm at the Indian Community School auditorium. About 30 contestants, shortlisted out of 100 entries received, will vie for three prizes including the coveted title of ‘Pachakarani 2010’ by displaying their food items and delicacies in three categories. The cooking competition will be adjudged by a three-member jury led by popular Indian TV anchor and magician Rajkalesh. The display and the contest will be held in the presence of media guests, family members of the contestants and Arpan members. The three winners are required to cook their items once again on Thursday at their homes for an exclusive TV shoot anchored by Rajkalesh who will pick Arpan’s ‘Pachakarani 2010.’ The winners will be honored during Arpan’s mega show. ‘Tune and Taste 2010’ on Friday at 4.30pm at the Indian Community School Auditorium, Senior Girls, Salmiya.

Marafia Kuwaitia group. Saiful Islam Mansour General Secretary of the samity had presented the program. Engineer Abu Sayeed joint secretary of the Samity had read out a note of appraisal honoring Dr Naser Ahmed. The distinguished guests had humbly presented it to the departing guest. The samity had also presented him a decorative crest of honor. All invitees in the program had recalled Dr. Naser Ahmed’s pleasant relationship with Kuwait expatirate Bengali Community. His writings in news magazines of both home and abroad is widely appreciated by Bengali readers.

Sivaranjani Fine Arts ivaranjani Fine Arts is organizing a cultural evening with students and a memorable evening with the world famous professional troupe of Rajhesh Vaidhya from Chennai. Rajesh was awarded the title ‘Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peeta Aasthana Vidwan’, for his splendid rendering on the VEENA. Rajhesh Vaidhya and his troupe from Chennai will perform on Friday, the 3rd of December, 2010 at Carmel school auditorium, Khaitan along with variety of musical rendering by the students of the fine arts. All are welcome. But if you would like to be a special invitee and have the privilege of meeting and dining with Shri Rajesh Vaidya, please send the names of the person who will attend the program along with you to for further details. Rajhesh Vaidhya was brought up in a rich musical environment. His father Sri K M Vaidyanathan was a stalwart both in Mridangam and Ghatam. His tutelage under Smt Jeyalakshmi started at the tender age of six. He continued learning the finer nuances of music from Smt Rama Nambinarayanan and his advanced training from the world-renowned carnatic veena maestro Shri Chitti Babu. Rajhesh Vaidhya is not only a renowned musician in India, his fame and popularity spreads in all the musical stages around the world including Europe, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius, Canada, USA and many more.


single platform. Renowned mappila paattu exponents including V M Kutty, Ramla Beevi, V.T. Murali and others are certain to make it a memorable evening for ‘mappila paattu’ lovers in Kuwait. Mappila Paattu or Mappila Song is a folklore Muslim devotional song genre rendered to lyrics in colloquial Mappila dialect of Malayalam laced with Arabic, by Muslims or (Mappilas) of Kerala in south India. Mappila songs have a distinct cultural identity, while at the same time, remain closely linked to the cultural practices of Kerala. They deal with themes such as religion, love, satire and heroism, and are often sung at occasions of birth, marriage and death. They form an integral part of the heritage of Malayalam today and are enjoyed by all communities in Kerala.

Symposium on Shakespeare Future Eye Theatre, Kuwait will hold a ‘Symposium on Shakespeare’ on Friday, December 10, 2010 at the Orma Restaurant auditorium, Abbassiya from 5.30 pm till 8pm. Several theatre experts, directors and enthusiasts are scheduled to attend the symposium which will discuss the multi-dimensional features of Shakespearean theatre and its relevance in contemporary theatre forms. Filipino Badminton Committee he Filipino Badminton Committee is inviting all badminton enthusiast to join its 20th Badminton Tournament. The event which is held for a cause will start on November 5 and will last until December 10 at the Kuwait Disabled Club, Hawally every Friday from 8 AM until 5 PM. The tournament will be a team event of 5 players. Each team must have Level 1 & 2 (Men’s), Level 1& 2 (Ladies’) and Level 3 (Ladies’). The deadline for submission of line up will be on October 15. Special prize will be given for Best Uniform, Best Team. For more information, call 97197268.


TIES Center announces Winter schedule IES Center announces its schedule of Winter Arabic Courses which will extend from October 29, 2010 through December 23, 2010. The courses are offered with the following options: Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 The Arabic courses at TIES Center are designed according to the students’ needs and requirements. These courses are intended for all expatriates who wish


15th annual celebration of Mar Basalios Orthodox fellowship BOF Kuwait, the Spiritual and Charitable Organization of the Indian Orthodox M Church Members in Kuwait conducted a press conference at Abbasiya High Dine Auditorium. Emphasizing the progress related to the 15th Annual Celebration to be held on 10th December 2010 at 6.30pm at Abbasiya Integrated School. Highlighting the program to the local media by the General Convener Rajiv Vanchipalam. The organization is presenting three hours of Christian Devotional Musical Evening lead by Malayalam Cine Playback singer Unni Menon and other local professional singers from the Indian Orthodox Community and guest. The show will be supported by a professional orchestra specialized in Christian Devotional Songs. It is the first time that Unni Menon is performing a Christian devotional musical

to learn the Arabic language and culture. Upon completion of these courses the student will have a) Confidence in conducting basic Arabic communication (speaking, reading & writing) b) A basis for developing Arabic as a second language c) A better understanding of Arabic Culture d) Ability to interact with their classmates and learn about their background and culture For more information please contact us on 97144138 or visit our website Annual ESF Winter Fayre he English School Fahaheel will bring in the festive season this year with their successful Annual Winter Fayre on Saturday 4 December from 11am to 2 pm at the school’s spacious premises which also offer ample parking. ESF is located just off Highway 30 in Mangaf. The Fayre is the perfect place for a family day out with stalls offering a variety of Christmas gifts and treats, carols sung by the ESF Choir and great raffle prizes including air tickets, electronics and more!. Don’t miss bargains on furniture, books, Exercise equipment, electronics and toys! To book a stall call 23711070/23717263 today!


German Board of Oral Implantology n cooperation with Kuwait Dental Association in its third year, and after graduating 33 dentists in the past two years from Kuwait and abroad, with Kuwait becoming the regional center for the German Board of Oral Implantology (GBOI) in the Gulf. We like to announce to all dentists in Kuwait and abroad that registration for the third batch 2010 - 2011 is being held at Kuwait Dental Association to begin study on December 3, 2010.


evening abroad. The President of the MBOF Mathews Ommen, the Gen Secretary George Pappachen explain the media that the proceeds from this program will be contributed to the Indian Orthodox Idukki Diocese for Rural Development Program. In acknowledgment to the media question the organizers clarified that a dedicated fund of Rs. 1.5 Million for this project will be siphoned to the un-developed region of the Idduki District for the upbringing of deserving during this financial year 2011 regardless of cast or religion. Anil George the program coordinator explains the details of the program to the media. The publicity conveners Binu Chempalayam and Biju Kumbazha attended the press conference and appreciated the local media to turn in full for their support and coverage.

Toastmasters workshop he Toastmasters of Division I will hold ‘Be the Communicator and TLeader You Want To Be’ workshop at Kuwait Economic Society from 47 pm on Friday, December 3. The workshop will be conducted by Lieutenant Governor for Education and Training , DTM Khalid Al-Qoud from Bahrain and is open to members and guests. Toastmasters International is the largest nonprofit organization worldwide providing opportunities for women and men to develop spoken communication and leadership skills that promote personal and professional advancement. Since its beginnings in California in 1924, Toastmasters has grown to its current state of over 260,000 members in over 16,500 Toastmasters Clubs worldwide. In the Middle East there are Toastmasters Clubs in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan and, most recently, in Lebanon. In Kuwait’s Division I alone there are 13 Toastmasters clubs which actively participate in the time-tested educational programs that offer learning in a positive and supportive environment.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010



Inter-Hotels Football Tournament he Movenpick Hotel & Resort Al Bida’a organized the first TInter-Hotel 5 A-side football tournament for 2010. Based on Movenpick’s management belief of the importance of team spirit and associates’ social activities, the Movenpick Hotel & Resort Al Bida’a took the initiative. 8 teams from different hotels in Kuwait joined the tournament including: Movenpick Hotel & Resort Al Bida’a, Movenpick Hotel Kuwait, Holiday INN Salmiya, JW Marriott - Court Yard (one team) , Crown Plaza Kuwait, Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel , Palms Hotel and Safir Hotel. All the games will be played on the Green Circle Football Field near The Marina Mall. The tournament will take place between November 27th and December 5th. The event kicked off by a short speech by the Executive Assistant Manager of Movenpick Al Bida’a in which he thanked all the participating hotels and wished them a good luck. “The objective of this tournament is to conduct wholesome recreational activities among hoteliers in Kuwait and to further strength friendship and the true spirit of sportsmanship,” said Sultan Baddar, the Human Resources Director of Movenpick Hotel & Resort Al Bida’a.

RAK organizes family picnic


amapuram Association of Kuwait (RAK) has organized a family picnic. The one day tour to Abdally was a different experience to many. The members visited many different farms and farmhouses. RAK conducted various cultural programs and games for kids and adults during the picnic.


GUST’s Best of Kuwait o you know where you can find the best cupcakes in Kuwait? How about the best Japanese or Chinese restaurant, the best day spa, D the best mobile phone service, or the best authentic Kuwaiti meal? MBA students at the Gulf University for Science & Technology, will reveal the answers to those and other questions at their presentation titled GUST’s Best of Kuwait. Led with the guidance of Prof John Hayes, six teams of MBA students will each present a Best of Kuwait category using multimedia. After the presentations, he will ask the audience to help critique the team performances. This is a good way to help MBAs perfect their presentation skills and have some fun in the process. The information they provide will also be of interest to many. GUST’s Best of Kuwait Chinese Restaurants: Best of Kuwait: PF Chang’s at The Avenues Mall Runners up: Peacock at SAS Hotel, Salwa; and Tang Chao at Holiday Inn, almiya Kuwaiti Food: Best of Kuwait: Bait Dickson, Hamad Al Muburak Street, Salmiya Runners up: Al Marsa Seafood Restaurant, Le Meridien Hotel, Gulf Street and Zeman Awal, Salem Al-Mubarak Street & Gulf Road Japanese Restaurants: Best of Kuwait: Maki at Marina, Salmiya Runners up: Wasabi, Al-Watiah, Kuwait City and Sakura at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Cupcakes: Best of Kuwait: Juju’s Cupcakes at Al Fanar Mall Telecommunications: Best of Kuwait: ZAIN Day Spas: Best of Kuwait: Spa Time at Al Mouhalab Mall, Hawalli and The Avenues Mall

Baselius College Alumni meeting

appy birthday and many happy returns for Hessa Mosaed AlH Habishi and Loulwah Mosaed Al-

n initial meeting of the old students of Baselius College, Kottayam will be held on Dec 3, at United Indian School, A Abbassiya at 6 pm. All former students residing in Kuwait

Habishi who turn 10 today. May Allah bestow abundant blessings on both of you! Greetings from friends, family and fine-wishers.

are welcome. For more details, please contact 66841852, 99687930, 66853100.

Aware he AWARE Management is glad to inform you that Winter 1 Arabic language courses will begin on November 21st until December 29th, 2010. AWARE Arabic language courses are designed with the expat in mind. The environment is relaxed & courses are designed for those wanting to learn Arabic for travel, cultural understanding, and conducting business or simply to become more involved in the community. We cater to teachers, travelers & those working in the private business sector. AWARE Arabic courses highlight: • Introductory to Level 4 Arabic language basics • Better prepare you for speaking, reading and writing Arabic • Combine language learning with cultural insights • Taught in multi-nationality group settings • Provide opportunities to interact with Western expatriates and native Kuwaitis/Arabs. For more information, call 25335260/80 ext 105 or 104 or email: or log onto:”


EMBASSY OF BANGLADESH The Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait has taken up an initiative to update the database of Bangladesh nationals residing in the State of Kuwait. For inclusion in the database all the Bangladesh nationals are requested to collect the Registration Form from the Labour Wing of the Embassy. The forms can also be collected sending request to e-mail address. The filled-in forms can also be submitted by hand, by email or by fax (number 24913204). EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, AlMutawakel St., Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. Canada offers a registration service for all Canadians travelling or living abroad. This service is provided so that Consular Officials can contact and assist Canadians in an emergency in a foreign country, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or inform Canadians of a family emergency at home. The Embassy of Canada encourages all

Canadian Citizens to register online through the Government of Canada Travel Website at Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration services to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at EMBASSY OF INDIA The Embassy of India has further revamped and improved its Legal Advice Clinic at the Indian Workers Welfare Center, and made the free service available to Indian nationals on all five working days, i.e. from Sunday to Thursday every week. Kuwaiti lawyers would be available at the Legal Advice Clinic daily from Monday to Thursday, while Indian lawyers would be available on Sundays. Following are the free welfare services provided at the Indian Workers Welfare Center located at the Embassy of India: [i] 24x7 Helpline for Domestic Workers: Accessible by toll free telephone no. 25674163 from anywhere in Kuwait, it provides information and advice exclusively to Indian domestic sector workers (Visa No. 20) as regards their grievances, immigration and other matters. [ii] Help Desk: It offers guidance to Indian nationals on routine immigration, employment, legal, and other issues (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iii) Labour Complaints Desk: It registers labor com-

plaints and provides grievance redressal service to Indian workers (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iv) Shelters: For female and male domestic workers in distress; (v) Legal Advice Clinic: Provides free legal advice to Indian nationals (Embassy premises; Kuwaiti lawyers 3 PM to 5 PM, Monday to Thursday; Indian lawyers 2 PM to 4 PM on Sunday); and (vi) Attestation of Work Contracts: Private sector worker (Visa No. 18) contracts are accepted at the Embassy; 9 AM to 1 PM; Sunday to Thursday; Domestic sector worker (Visa No. 20) contracts are accepted at Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO), Hawally, Al-Othman Street, Kurd Roundabout, Al-Abraj Complex, Office No 9, Mezzanine Floor; 9 AM to 9 PM, Saturday to Thursday; 5 PM to 9 PM on Friday. Embassy of India would like to inform that application forms for passport/visa services and labor contracts that are on its website,, have been upgraded to include the facility for online data entry. Affidavit forms on the embassy website have had this facility since May 6, 2009. EMBASSY OF THE US The United States Department of State announces the increase in various visa fees to ensure sufficient resources to cover the increasing cost of processing nonimmigrant visas (NIVs). US law requires the Department to recover the cost of processing non-immigrant

visas through the collection of the application fees. The increased fees are to take effect June 4, 2010. Under the new rule, applicants for all visas that are not petition-based, including B1/B2 tourist and business visitor visas and all student and exchange-visitor visas, will pay a fee of $140. Applicants for petition-based visas will pay an application fee of $150, as each of the below categories requires a review of extensive documentation and a more in-depth interview of the applicant than other categories, such as tourists. These categories include: H visa for temporary workers and trainees L visa for intra-company transferees O visa for aliens with extraordinary ability P visa for athletes, artists and entertainers Q visa for international cultural exchange visitors R visa for religious occupations The application fee for K visas for fiance(e)s of US citizens will be $350. The fee for E visas for treaty-traders and treaty-investors will be $390. EMBASSY OF THAILAND All foreigners who apply for Tourist Visa at the Royal Thai Embassies and the Royal Thai Consulate General worldwide, including eligible foreigners who apply for Visa on arrival at designated checkpoints, will be exempted from tourist visa fees until 31 March 2011. Such arrangement is for Tourist Visa only.

CETAA cricket tournament he 13th Prof Ramachandran Memorial TCollege Cricket Tournament (RMC) conducted by of Engineering Trivandrum Alumini Association (CETAA) and sponsored by GTE Olayan Co will begin on December 3, 2010 at Ahmadi. The eagerly awaited tournament conducted among the Engineering Alumini Associations front Kerala marks the start of the Engineers Sports calendar in Kuwait for the season 2010- 2011. Eight teams will be competing in earnest over the next five weeks for the coveted trophy. Weather permitting, new year’s eve will see a new champion crowned amidst the celebrations for the new year. The matches will be conducted in a league cum knock out format with four teams in each pool playing against each other. The top two teams from each pool will qualify for the semifinal where the top team from pool A will clash with the 2nd placed side from Pool B and vice versa. Last two years’ champions TEC will spearhead the challenge from Pool A while MACE (in Pool B) will hope that they can go one better than their second best performance last year. But TEC will have their hands full to first qualify for the knockout stage as 8 times winners KEA, previous winners TKM along with hosts CET are drawn in Pool A. The young enthusiastic AECK (3rd last year) will fight back along with NSS and NIT for a semifinal berth from Pool B. With the players and spectator interest on the rise, GTE Olayaii Co will sponsor the tournament for the 13th consecutive year. During the league stages four matches (15 overs a side) will be held each Friday ensuring the cricket enthusiasts of an action packed weekend. On the opening day, TEC will meet CET and NIT will clash with MACE (both at 7 am) while TKM will meet KEA and NSS will play AECK (both at 9:30 am).

Send to What’s On upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations by email: Fax: 24835619 / 20



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Orbit / Showtime Listings 08:20 Antiques Roadshow 09:10 What Not To Wear 10:00 Daily Cooks Challenge 10:30 Daily Cooks Challenge 10:55 Antiques Roadshow 11:50 Hidden Potential 12:10 French Food At Home 12:30 Sweet Baby James 12:55 The Home Show 13:45 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 14:30 The Restaurant UK 15:20 What Not To Wear 16:10 The Home Show 16:55 French Food At Home 17:20 Bargain Hunt 18:05 Masterchef 18:30 Cash In The Attic USA 18:50 Daily Cooks Challenge 19:20 Daily Cooks Challenge 19:50 The Restaurant UK 20:40 Masterchef 21:10 Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes 22:00 The Home Show 22:50 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 23:40 The Restaurant UK

03:00 Royal Pains 04:00 The Invisible Man 05:00 Damages 06:00 Good Morning America 08:00 In Plain Sight 09:00 Supernatural 10:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 11:00 Damages 12:00 The Invisible Man 13:00 Royal Pains 14:00 In Plain Sight 15:00 Live Good Morning America 17:00 Supernatural 18:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 19:00 Royal Pains 20:00 Justified 21:00 Boardwalk Empire 22:00 True Blood 23:00 Saving Grace

04:30 Animal Cops Phoenix 05:25 Earthquake: Panda Rescue 06:20 Untamed And Uncut 07:10 Wildlife SOS 07:35 Sspca: On The Wildside 08:00 Weird Creatures With Nick Baker 08:50 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 09:15 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 09:40 Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 10:35 In Too Deep 11:00 Escape To Chimp Eden 11:55 Monkey Life 12:20 Sspca: On The Wildside 12:50 Miami Animal Police 13:45 E-Vets: The Interns 14:10 Pet Rescue 14:40 Animal Cops Philadelphia 15:35 Wildlife SOS 16:00 Sspca: On The Wildside 16:30 Dogs 101 17:25 Cats Of Claw Hill 18:20 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 19:15 Venom In Vegas 21:10 Dogs 101 22:05 World Wild Vet 23:00 Wildest Africa 23:55 Animal Cops Philadelphia

03:10 Eastenders 03:40 Doctors 04:10 Only Fools And Horses 04:40 The Roly Mo Show 04:55 Fimbles 05:15 Penelope K, By The Way 05:30 Me Too 05:50 Forget Me Not Farm 06:05 The Roly Mo Show 06:20 Fimbles 06:40 Penelope K, By The Way 06:55 Me Too 07:15 Forget Me Not Farm 07:30 Forget Me Not Farm 07:45 Fimbles 08:00 Penelope K, By The Way 08:10 Tellytales 08:20 Me Too 08:45 Forget Me Not Farm 09:00 The Roly Mo Show 09:15 Penelope K, By The Way 09:25 Fimbles 09:45 Tellytales 09:55 Me Too 10:15 Forget Me Not Farm 10:30 Only Fools And Horses 11:30 The Weakest Link 12:15 North And South 13:05 Doctors 13:35 Eastenders 14:05 Holby City 15:05 Only Fools And Horses 16:35 North And South 17:25 The Weakest Link 18:10 Doctors 18:40 Eastenders 19:10 Holby City 20:10 North And South 21:00 The Weakest Link 21:45 Doctors 22:15 Eastenders 22:45 Casualty 23:40 Monarch Of The Glen

03:10 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 04:00 The Restaurant UK 05:00 Daily Cooks Challenge 05:30 What Not To Wear 06:20 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 07:10 The Restaurant UK

03:25 Extreme Engineering 04:20 Mythbusters 05:15 How Stuff’s Made 05:40 How Do They Do It? 06:05 Dirty Jobs 07:00 Fifth Gear 07:25 Extreme Engineering 08:15 American Chopper 09:10 Mythbusters 10:05 Ultimate Survival 10:55 Overhaulin’ 11:50 The Gadget Show 12:20 How Stuff’s Made 12:45 How Do They Do It? 13:15 Mythbusters 14:10 Miami Ink 15:05 Ultimate Survival 16:00 Dirty Jobs 16:55 Overhaulin’ 17:50 Mythbusters 18:45 Cake Boss 19:10 Border Security 19:40 The Gadget Show 20:05 How Do They Do It? 20:35 How Stuff’s Made 21:00 Science Of The Movies 21:55 Space Pioneer 22:50 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 23:45 Undercover

03:35 Ultimate Power Builders 04:25 How Stuff’s Made 04:50 Scrappy Races 05:45 Robotica 06:40 Weird Connections 07:10 Superships 09:00 Race To Mars 10:00 Superships 10:55 Stunt Junkies 11:20 The Gadget Show 11:50 What’s That About? 12:45 How Stuff’s Made 13:15 Scrappy Races 14:10 Weird Connections 14:35 Science Of The Movies 15:30 What’s That About? 16:25 The Gadget Show 16:55 Race To Mars 17:50 Mega World 18:45 Brainiac 19:40 How Stuff’s Made 20:30 Engineered 21:20 How It’s Made 21:45 The Gadget Show 22:10 Space Pioneer 23:00 How Stuff’s Made 23:50 Engineered

06:00 Phineas And Ferb 06:45 Fairly Odd Parents 07:05 Sonny With A Chance 07:30 Kim Possible 07:50 Wizards Of Waverly Place 08:15 Stitch 08:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 09:00 Handy Manny 09:25 Special Agent Oso 09:50 Jungle Junction 10:10 Imagination Movers 10:35 Special Agent Oso 10:50 Handy Manny 11:15 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 11:35 A Kind Of Magic 12:00 Jonas 12:25 Fairly Odd Parents 12:45 Phineas And Ferb 13:10 Hannah Montana 13:30 Sonny With A Chance

13:55 Hannah Montana 14:20 Jake And Blake 14:50 A Kind Of Magic 15:15 Fairly Odd Parents 15:40 Kim Possible 16:00 Hannah Montana 16:25 Sonny With A Chance 16:45 Jonas 17:10 Jake And Blake 17:40 Wizards Of Waverly Place 18:25 Hannah Montana 19:10 Jonas 19:35 Wizards Of Waverly Place 20:00 Sonny With A Chance 20:25 Jake And Blake 20:50 Hannah Montana 21:15 Phineas And Ferb 21:35 Fairly Odd Parents 22:00 Replacements 22:25 Hannah Montana 22:50 Sonny With A Chance 23:15 Wizards Of Waverly Place 23:35 Jonas

03:15 25 Most Stylish 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Battle Of The Hollywood Hotties 05:30 Streets Of Hollywood 06:00 Ths 07:45 Behind The Scenes 08:35 E! News 09:25 Fashion Police 09:50 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 10:15 Ths 12:00 E! News 12:50 Behind The Scenes 13:15 Pretty Wild 13:40 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 14:05 Kendra 14:30 Ths 15:25 E!es 16:15 Behind The Scenes 17:10 Giuliana And Bill 18:00 E! News 18:50 Fashion Police 19:15 Pretty Wild 19:40 E!es 20:30 Kendra 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:20 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 22:10 E! News 23:00 Fashion Police 23:25 Kendra 23:50 Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami

03:20 Mantracker Series 3 04:10 Fantasy Factory 05:00 Summer Dew Tour 2010 05:50 Untracked Series 2 06:15 Untracked Series 2 06:40 Alpine Adventurer 07:30 I-Ex 09:00 Avalanche Trophy 11:30 Snowfix 11:55 Winter X Games 14 12:45 Fantasy Factory 13:35 Mantracker Series 3 14:25 Eds Up 14:50 Eds Up 15:15 Alpine Adventurer 16:05 Winter X Games 14 16:55 Fantasy Factory 17:20 Fantasy Factory 17:45 Avalanche Trophy 20:15 Snowfix 20:40 Mantracker Series 3 21:30 Fantasy Factory 22:20 Winter X Games 14 23:10 Alpine Adventurer

03:00 Chopped 04:00 Barefoot Contessa 04:30 Unwrapped 05:00 Food Network Challenge 06:00 Good Eats 06:30 Guys Big Bite 07:00 Iron Chef America 08:00 Paula’s Best Dishes 08:25 Good Deal with Dave Lieberman 08:50 Guys Big Bite 09:15 Barefoot Contessa 09:40 Everyday Italian 10:05 30 Minute Meals 10:30 Tyler’s Ultimate 11:00 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 11:30 Barefoot Contessa 12:00 Barefoot Contessa - Back to Basics 12:30 Paula’s Party 13:30 Guys Big Bite 14:00 Good Deal with Dave Lieberman 14:30 Paula’s Best Dishes 15:00 Barefoot Contessa 15:30 Everyday Italian 16:00 30 Minute Meals 16:30 Good Eats

Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past on Show Movies

17:00 Iron Chef America 18:00 Barefoot Contessa 18:30 Unwrapped 19:00 Paula’s Best Dishes 19:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 20:00 Barefoot Contessa 20:30 Barefoot Contessa - Back to Basics 21:00 Chopped 22:00 Barefoot Contessa 22:30 Everyday Italian 23:00 Food Network Challenge

03:00 Chicago-PG15 05:00 Sophie’s Choice-18 07:30 Northern Lights-PG 09:00 The Loss Of A Teardrop DiamondPG15 11:00 Seven Pounds-PG15 13:00 Motherhood-PG15 15:00 Three Investigators-PG15 17:00 Forever Strong-PG 19:00 Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired-PG15 21:00 Jude-18 23:00 Cass-18

03:10 True Crime With Aphrodite Jones 04:05 Solved 05:00 Forensic Detectives 05:55 Amsterdam Vice 06:20 Dr G: Medical Examiner 07:10 Real Emergency Calls 08:00 Mystery ER 08:50 Real Emergency Calls 09:40 Forensic Detectives 10:30 On The Run 11:20 Undercover 12:10 FBI Files 13:00 Ghost Lab 13:50 Extreme Forensics 14:40 Mystery ER 15:30 Real Emergency Calls 16:20 Undercover 17:10 Forensic Detectives 18:00 On The Run 18:50 FBI Files 19:40 Mystery ER 20:30 Real Emergency Calls 21:20 Ghost Lab 22:10 Extreme Forensics 23:00 I Escaped Death 23:50 Murder Shift

03:00 Boondocks 03:30 The Ricky Gervais Show 04:00 Family Guy 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 8 Simple Rules ... 06:00 Hope And Faith 06:30 The Drew Carey Show 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 The Simpsons 08:30 8 Simple Rules ... 09:00 Hope And Faith 09:30 The Drew Carey Show 10:00 Will And Grace 10:30 The Office 11:00 8 Simple Rules ... 11:30 Hope And Faith 12:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 13:00 The Simpsons 13:30 8 Simple Rules ... 14:00 Hope And Faith 14:30 Kath And Kim 15:00 The Office 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 The Drew Carey Show 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 The Simpsons 18:30 Will And Grace 19:00 Modern Family 19:30 Modern Family 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 State Of The Union 22:30 The Ricky Gervais Show 23:00 Family Guy 23:30 Modern Family

03:20 Looney Tunes 03:45 The Flintstones 04:10 The Jetsons 04:35 Top Cat 05:00 Tom And Jerry 05:25 Popeye Classics 05:50 Scooby Doo Where Are You! 06:15 Tom And Jerry Kids 06:40 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo 07:05 Yogi’s Treasure Hunt 07:30 Droopy And Dripple 08:00 Tom And Jerry 08:25 Looney Tunes 08:55 The Flintstones 09:20 The Jetsons 09:45 Tom And Jerry Kids 10:10 The Garfield Show 10:35 Duck Dodgers 11:00 The Scooby Doo Show 11:30 Wacky Races 12:00 Dastardly And Muttley 12:25 King Arthur’s Disasters 12:50 Help! It’s The Hair Bear Bunch 13:15 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo 13:40 Popeye 14:05 Scooby Doo Where Are You! 14:30 Top Cat 14:55 Hong Kong Phooey 15:20 Duck Dodgers 15:45 The Jetsons 16:10 The Flintstones 16:35 Looney Tunes 17:00 Tom And Jerry 17:20 Top Cat 17:45 Wacky Races 18:00 Dastardly And Muttley 18:30 The Scooby Doo Show 19:00 Johnny Bravo 19:30 Dexter’s Laboratory 20:00 Looney Tunes 20:20 Duck Dodgers 20:45 The Garfield Show 21:10 The Flintstones 21:35 The Jetsons 22:00 Yogi’s Treasure Hunt 22:25 Tom And Jerry 22:50 The Scooby Doo Show 23:15 Droopy And Dripple 23:40 Top Cat

07:00 Dennis The Menace 07:25 Beverly Hills Teen Club 07:45 Pelswick 08:00 Programmes Start At 8:00pm KSA 13:00 Programmes Start At 8:00pm KSA 20:00 Sonic Underground 20:20 Dino Squad 20:45 The Future Is Wild 21:10 Rescue Heroes 21:30 Ace Lightning 22:00 Even Stevens 22:25 Sabrina The Animated Series 22:50 Tales From The Cryptkeeper 23:10 Rescue Heroes 23:35 Ace Lightning MGM

08:40 Return Of A Man Called Horse 10:45 Breakheart Pass 12:20 Horse Soldiers 14:20 Madhouse 15:50 Ruby Jean And Joe 17:30 Real Men 18:55 Once Upon A Crime 20:30 Convicts 22:00 A Breed Apart 23:40 Impromptu

03:00 NHL Boston Bruins at Philadelphia Flyers 03:30 Lucas Oil Motorsports Hour 04:30 Big Ten Basketball: Creighton v Northwestern 06:30 NHL San Jose Sharks at Detroit Red Wings 09:30 Seamaster 10:00 Lucas Oil Motorsports Hour 11:00 NHL San Jose Sharks at Detroit Red Wings 14:00 Golf Central International 14:30 Extreme Sailing Series 15:00 Seamaster 15:30 ATP Champions Tour Delray & Zurich 16:00 World Team Tennis Washington Kastles v New York Buzz 18:00 NFL Replay Teams TBA 19:00 NHL San Jose Sharks at Detroit Red Wings 22:00 Prime/Time Boxing FOX SPORTS HD 03:00 NHL Boston Bruins at Philadelphia Flyers 03:30 Lucas Oil Motorsports Hour 04:30 Big Ten Basketball: Creighton v Northwestern 06:30 NHL San Jose Sharks at Detroit Red Wings 09:30 Seamaster 10:00 Lucas Oil Motorsports Hour 11:00 NHL San Jose Sharks at Detroit Red Wings 14:00 Golf Central International 14:30 Extreme Sailing Series 15:00 Seamaster 15:30 ATP Champions Tour Delray & Zurich 16:00 World Team Tennis Washington Kastles v New York Buzz 18:00 NFL Replay Teams TBA 19:00 NHL San Jose Sharks at Detroit Red Wings 22:00 Prime/Time Boxing

03:10 Ed, Edd N Eddy 03:35 Ben 10: Alien Force 04:00 The Powerpuff Girls 04:15 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 04:40 The Secret Saturdays 05:05 Codename: Kids Next Door 05:30 Ben 10 05:55 Best Ed 06:20 Samurai Jack 06:45 Cramp Twins 07:10 Eliot Kid 07:35 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 08:00 Codename: Kids Next Door 08:25 Chowder 08:50 Best Ed 09:15 Chop Socky Chooks 09:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 10:05 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 10:30 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 10:55 Eliot Kid 11:20 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 11:30 Squirrel Boy 11:55 Robotboy 12:20 Camp Lazlo 12:45 The Powerpuff Girls 13:10 Class Of 3000 13:35 Ed, Edd N Eddy 14:00 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 14:25 Codename: Kids Next Door 14:50 Ben 10 15:15 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 15:40 Squirrel Boy 16:05 Eliot Kid 16:35 Casper’s Scare School 17:00 Skunk Fu! 17:25 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 17:50 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 18:15 The Secret Saturdays 18:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 19:05 Hero 108 19:30 Total Drama World Tour 20:00 Best Ed 20:25 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 20:50 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 21:05 The Powerpuff Girls 21:30 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 21:45 Ben 10: Alien Force 22:10 Ed, Edd N Eddy 22:35 Robotboy 23:00 Camp Lazlo 23:25 Samurai Jack 23:50 Megas Xlr

04:00 The Secret Lives Of Second WivesPG15 06:00 Danielle Steel’s Safe Harbour-PG15 08:00 Appaloosa-PG15 10:00 The Express-PG 12:15 Che Part Two: Guerilla-PG15 14:30 Prisoner-PG15 16:00 Appaloosa-PG15 18:00 Star Trek-PG 20:15 Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past-PG15 22:00 Greenberg-18

03:00 Universal Soldier: RegenerationPG15 05:00 Connected-PG15 07:00 Hide-PG15 09:00 The Patriot-PG15 11:40 Daylight-PG15 13:30 The Art Of War III: RetributionPG15 15:00 The Patriot-PG15 17:45 The Abyss (Extended Version)PG15 20:30 Blood Brothers-PG15 22:10 The Bank Job-18

04:00 Meet The Applegates-PG15 06:00 Wag The Dog-PG 08:00 Baby Mama-PG 10:00 The Rocker-PG15 12:00 Legally Blondes-PG 14:00 Calendar Girls-PG15 16:00 Welcome Home Roscoe JenkinsPG15 18:00 Tortilla Soup-PG15 20:00 Leaving Normal—PG15 22:00 Friday After Next-18

04:00 Sing To The Dawn-FAM 06:00 Bugs Bunny 1001 Rabbit Tales-

Beauty And The Briefcase on Super Movies FAM 08:00 Elias And The Royal Yacht-FAM 10:00 Ice Age 3: Dawn Of The DinosaursFAM 12:00 Ghatothkach - Master Of MagicFAM 14:00 Sing To The Dawn-FAM 16:00 Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius-FAM 18:00 Open Season 2-FAM 20:00 Gulliver’s Travel-PG 22:00 Ghatothkach - Master Of MagicFAM

03:00 House 04:00 The View 05:00 What’s Good For You 06:00 Emmerdale 06:30 Coronation Street 07:00 House 08:00 The Martha Stewart Show 09:00 What’s Good For You 10:00 House 11:00 The View 12:00 Emmerdale 12:30 Coronation Street 13:00 The Martha Stewart Show 14:00 The Closer 16:00 Look-A-Like 17:00 The View 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Coronation Street 19:00 Grey’s Anatomy 20:00 Private Practice 21:00 The Deep End 22:00 The View 23:00 Look-A-Like

03:30 Brazil League Highlights 04:00 Futbol Mundial 04:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 05:00 World Sport 05:30 ICC Cricket World 06:00 Spirit of a Champion 06:30 Spirit of Yachting 07:00 Scottish Premier League 09:00 Aviva Premiership 11:00 Brazil League Highlights 11:30 European PGA Tour Highlights 12:30 Premier League Snooker 16:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 17:30 The Ryder Cup Official Film 19:00 The Road to the Monsoon Cup 20:00 Spirit of a Equestrian 20:30 Spirit of Yachting 21:00 European Tour Weekly Review of the Year 22:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 22:30 Rugby Union Autumn Internationals

03:00 The Memory Keeper’s DaughterPG15 05:00 Carnera: The Walking Mountain-PG 07:00 Phoebe In Wonderland-PG 09:00 Carnera: The Walking Mountain-PG 11:15 2012: Startling New Secret-PG 13:00 Creation-PG15 15:00 Flirting Wth Flamenco-PG15 17:00 Beauty And The Briefcase-PG15 19:00 The Damned United-PG15 21:00 Harry Brown-PG15 23:00 The Eye-R

05:00 The Screening Room 05:30 Clash Of The Titans 07:30 The Screening Room 08:00 Adam’s Rib 09:40 The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad 11:25 The Wings Of Eagles 13:10 The Sunshine Boys 15:00 Across The Wide Missouri 16:20 Welcome To Hard Times 18:00 Hearts Of The West 19:40 Adam’s Rib 21:20 The Time Machine 23:00 Zebrahead

04:00 The Korean War 04:55 Battle 360 05:50 World War II: Lost Films 06:40 Dead Men’s Secrets 07:30 Hi Tech Hitler 08:20 Evolve 09:10 Dead Men’s Secrets 10:00 The Korean War 10:55 Battle 360 11:50 World War II: Lost Films 12:40 Dead Men’s Secrets 13:30 Hi Tech Hitler 14:20 Evolve 15:10 Dead Men’s Secrets 16:00 The Korean War 16:55 Battle 360 17:50 World War II: Lost Films 18:40 Dead Men’s Secrets 19:30 Hi Tech Hitler 20:20 Evolve 21:10 Dead Men’s Secrets 22:00 Scots at War 22:55 Battle of Britain 23:50 Battle Stations

03:30 European PGA Tour Highlights 04:30 Rugby Union Autumn International 06:30 World Sport 07:00 World Pool Masters 08:00 ICC Cricket World 08:30 European PGA Tour Highlights 09:30 World Sport 10:00 World Match Racing Tour Highlights 11:00 Rugby Union Autumn International 15:00 Brazil League Highlights 15:30 Aviva Premiership 17:30 Rugby Union Autumn International 19:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 20:00 Brazil League Highlights 20:30 World Sport 21:00 Premier League Snooker

03:00 VH1 Music 06:00 Chill Out 08:00 VH1 Hits 10:00 Aerobic 11:00 VH1 Hits 12:00 Music For The Masses 13:00 Top 10 14:00 Music For The Masses 15:00 VH1 Pop Chart 16:00 VH1 Hits 18:00 Music For The Masses 19:00 VH1 Loves 20:00 Guess The Year 21:00 Music For The Masses 22:00 The Album Chart Show 23:00 VH1 Pop Chart

04:00 Red Bull X-Fighters Highlights 05:00 UFC Unleashed 07:00 WWE Vintage Collection 08:00 V8 Supercars Championship 10:00 FIM World Cup 10:30 Full Throttle 11:00 UAE National Race Day 12:00 Planet Power Boats 12:30 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge 13:30 FIA GT1 World Championship 15:00 V8 Supercars Championship 17:00 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge 18:00 WWE Vintage Collection 19:00 WWE Smackdown 21:00 UFC Wired 22:00 UFC Unleashed 23:00 UFC Unleashed

03:00 World Report 04:00 World Business Today 05:00 The Situation Room 06:00 Anderson Cooper 360 07:00 World Sport 07:30 Inside Africa 08:00 World Report 08:30 Backstory 09:00 World Report 10:00 World Report 11:00 World Business Today 12:00 World Report 12:30 Inside The Middle East 13:00 Larry King Live 14:00 World Report 14:30 World Sport 15:00 World Report

15:30 Talk Asia 16:00 World Report 17:00 World Business Today 18:00 International Desk 19:00 The Brief 19:30 World Sport 20:00 Prism 20:30 Inside The Middle East 21:00 International Desk 22:00 Quest Means Business 22:45 CNN Marketplace Africa 23:00 World One

07:25 Kick Buttowski 07:50 Pokemon 08:15 Phineas & Ferb 08:40 Phineas & Ferb 09:05 Kick Buttowski 09:30 American Dragon 09:55 Cars Toons 10:00 Zeke & Luther 10:50 I’m In The Band 11:15 The Super Hero Squad Show 11:40 Suite Life On Deck 12:05 Suite Life On Deck 12:30 Aaron Stone 12:55 Have A Laugh 13:00 Phineas & Ferb 13:30 Phineas & Ferb 14:00 Kid Vs Kat 14:30 Kid Vs Kat 15:00 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 15:25 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 15:50 Zeke And Luther 16:15 Zeke And Luther 16:40 Have A Laugh 16:45 Zeke And Luther 17:10 Cars Toons 17:15 Zeke And Luther 17:40 Zeke And Luther 18:05 Zeke And Luther 18:30 Zeke And Luther 18:55 Phineas & Ferb 19:20 Phineas & Ferb 19:45 Kick Buttowski 20:10 Pokemon 20:35 American Dragon 21:00 Aaron Stone 21:25 Cars Toons 21:30 Kid Vs Kat 21:55 Have A Laugh 22:00 Phineas & Ferb 22:25 I’m In The Band 22:50 Have A Laugh 22:55 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 23:20 The Super Hero Squad Show

FASHION TV 03:00 Swimwear 03:30 Hair And Make Up 03:45 Models 04:00 F Floor 04:30 Lingerie 05:00 Fashion Week 05:30 Now In Store 06:00 Photographers Night 06:30 Models 07:00 Top Brands 07:30 Fashion Destination 08:00 Ftv Breakfast 08:30 Ftv Breakfast 09:00 Ftv Breakfast 09:30 Ftv Breakfast 10:00 I See It First 10:30 Ftv Breakfast 11:00 Swimwear 11:30 Models 11:45 Now In Store 12:00 F Men 13:00 Fashion Week 13:30 Photographers 14:00 Backstage 14:30 Models 14:45 Lingerie 15:00 Top Brands 15:30 Fashion Week 16:00 Focus On Designers 16:30 Focus On Designers 17:00 Fall/Winter 17:30 Designers 17:45 Global Fashion 18:00 I See It First 18:30 Model Awards 19:00 Focus On Models 19:30 Tendances 20:00 Top Brands 20:30 Fall/Winter 20:45 Photographers 21:00 Focus On Models

Wednesday, December 1, 2010





Time 0:40 0:45 1:40 1:45 1:55 2:15 2:35 2:45 2:45 3:10 3:15 3:45 3:50 4:40 5:20 6:15 6:40 6:45 7:00 7:35 7:45 7:50 7:55 8:10 8:15 8:20 8:20 8:30 9:05 9:05 9:30 9:35 9:40 10:30 10:50 11:05 11:10 11:20 11:55 12:55 13:00 13:05 13:25 13:50 13:55 14:10 14:15 14:30 14:35 14:40 15:00 15:05 15:30 15:45 15:50 16:40 16:45 16:50 16:55 17:05 17:15 17:20 17:30 17:40 17:45 17:55 17:55 18:00 18:10 18:10 18:15 18:25 18:25 18:40 18:45 18:50 18:55 18:55 19:10 19:20 19:25 19:25 19:30 19:30 19:35 19:40 20:05 20:10 20:15 20:50 20:50 21:00 21:15 21:15 21:20 21:35 21:40 21:40 22:40 22:45 22:45 23:00



186 636 393 422 215 108



23:10 23:35 23:40 23:45 23:55 23:55

Time 0:45 1:05 1:10 1:30 2:30 3:10 3:15 3:45 3:50 3:55 4:00 4:55 5:30 5:55 6:55 7:15 8:00 8:20 8:25 8:50 8:55 9:00 9:10 9:15 9:20 9:40 9:45 10:00 10:15 10:20 10:20 10:30 10:40 10:55 11:45 12:00 12:05 12:10 12:30 12:55 13:00 13:40 13:50 13:55 14:20 14:35 14:50 15:10 15:15 15:25 15:35 15:45 16:05 16:20 16:25 16:30 16:40 17:15 17:35 17:40 17:45 18:05 18:05 18:10 18:15 18:20 18:25 18:30 18:35 18:40 18:45 19:10 19:15 19:40 20:15 20:20 20:50 21:00 21:10 21:15 21:40 21:55 22:00 22:10 22:15 22:20 22:30 22:30 22:35 22:45 22:45 22:50 23:45 23:45 23:50

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (

ACCOMMODATION Room for rent, in Farwaniya block 1 near new Gulf Mart, only family. Mobile: 66988845. (C 2951) Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya for one or two working ladies or married couple with Keralite family. Contact: 66013882. (C 2956) Room for rent, Farwaniya block 1, opposite Canary restaurant, behind Farwaniya Governorate. Tel: 99035093. (C 2953) Separate room for rent, Jleeb near Al Baik big bazaar, family or working lady, visiting family, with AC, fridge, land line, satellite, TFC, all facilities available. Contact: 97267254. (C 2900) 1-12-2010 Sharing accommodation available for a single, decent & non-smoking Keralite bachelor from 01/12/2010 onwards, location Abbassiya, for more details please contact: 66725048. (C 2898)

Sharing accommodation one room for family in Abbassiya, rent KD 70, free water, gas with big balcony, sitting room. Tel: 24336581, 99307591. (C 2897) 30-11-2010 Sharing accommodation available for bachelor or family opposite Al Rashid hospital, Amman street, Salmiya. Contact: 65515717. (C 2892) Sharing accommodation available for bachelors Goan or Mangalorian only with Mangalorian family with food near Jabriya bridge 4th Ring Road. Contact: 22662734. (C 2893) 29-11-2010 To let one spacious bedroom, with a separate toilet, in a 3 bedroom apartment, behind Safir International hotel. Single occupancy KD 75, double occupancy KD 100 for more details please call: 60046720. (C 2889) 27-11-2010 SITUATION VACANT

Small Indian family requires maid preferably Indian,

Nepalis, Indonesian, Ethiopian. English speaking, good cook, good household work, experienced baby-sitter. Contact: 66014855. Email: buildmerchants@yahoo.c om (C 2895) 29-11-2010 A well organized lady with a good experience in cooking and cleaning is needed to work for a single American/Arab in an apartment located in Salmiya working hrs 2 to 8 pm, salary KD 100. Tel: 66417504, 25710714. (C 2891) 27-11-2010

FOR SALE Mitsubishi Nativa 2008 model, color blue, km 75000, good condition, price KD 3200. Contact: 99719942. (C 2954) Lexus RX 330, model 2003, steel grey, 165,000 km, regularly serviced, in excellent condition, price KD 4200. Please contact: 97915262. (C 2955) 1-12-2010 Toyota Corolla 1.6 XLi, model 2010, color white,

excellent condition, brand new car. Cash price KD 3,900. Contact: 99934965. (C 2894) 29-11-2010

CHANGE OF NAME I, Mohammed, holder of Indian Passport No: G 9944972, hereby change my name into my previous name Geddam Devanand. (C 2952) 1-12-2010

MATRIMONIAL Orthodox parents invite proposal for son, BE MBA working in Kuwait from God fearing professionally well placed girls contact: (C 2899) 1-12-2010 Proposal inviting for RC boy (Syro Malabar) fair/ 28yrs hgt 165cm, wgt 75, B.Com, working private firm in Kuwait as accountant, seeking alliance from girls working in Kuwait. Please contact email: (C 2890) 30-11-2010



Wednesday, December 1, 2010



Aries (March 21-April 19) Someone could

challenge you on a very sensitive issue today. Stay with the facts in all your communications. Being successful in life is easy for you—you have a built-in sense of how to unravel the most difficult problems. New adventures are in the making, not only for you but for you and someone close to you; thinking and planning may be in the works this afternoon. A friend may want you to come along with them as they take their first plane, boat or train ride. Whatever the case, the occasion will be fun and successful partly because of your contributions. Later today you may find yourself involved in helping older persons—perhaps in some volunteer program. You may find yourself enjoying a long conversation about this day with a loved one. Taurus (April 20-May 20) Take time to meditate each

morning; it will help to give you peace of mind as you begin your day. You can smile all the way to the bank as a lucrative turnaround was expected where you dared to invest a few months ago. If you are not investing— this is a lucky day. Work is easy today, at least your professional life seems to move along through the day quickly—there are very few interruptions. There is real insight into your own inner workings or psychology and in a manageable form. You may be in the mood for penetrating conversations or thoughts this evening. It is your turn for kitchen duty tonight. There is a chance to understand those around you and to have a special time with someone you love. Enjoy a quiet evening.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. Inquire about. 4. A bin that holds rubbish until it is collected. 10. A health resort near a spring or at the seaside. 13. The 22nd letter of the Greek alphabet. 14. A protective structure resembling a scale. 15. The 19th letter of the Greek alphabet. 16. Of a light yellowish-brown color n 1. 17. Held back from some action especially by force. 18. A doctor's degree in education. 19. An ancient musical horn made from the horn of a ram. 22. A small cake leavened with yeast. 24. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 25. An inactive volcano in Sicily. 28. A period of time equal to 1/24th of a day. 29. A hemoprotein composed of globin and heme that gives red blood cells their characteristic color. 30. Used of hair. 32. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 33. (Old Testament) In Judeo-Christian mythology. 37. A gradual decline (in size or strength or power or number). 38. Animal reproductive body consisting of an ovum or embryo together with nutritive and protective envelopes. 41. A white linen liturgical vestment with sleeves. 42. An organization of independent states to promote international peace and security. 44. A soft yellow malleable ductile (trivalent and univalent) metallic element. 47. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 49. A Loloish language. 51. A Tibetan or Mongolian priest of Lamaism. 52. 100 thebe equal 1 pula. 54. A period of time spent sleeping. 58. Grass mowed and cured for use as fodder. 59. Someone whose employment involves carrying something. 63. How long something has existed. 64. Requiring secret or mysterious knowledge. 65. The 7th letter of the Greek alphabet. 66. A unit of absorbed ionizing radiation equal to 100 ergs per gram of irradiated material. 67. African tree having an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread. 68. A light touch or stroke. DOWN 1. A book of the New Testament. 2. Title for the former hereditary monarch of Iran. 3. Obtained from various tropical plants. 4. United States writer (born in Poland) who wrote in Yiddish (1880-1957). 5. Short and fat. 6. A victory cheer. 7. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 8. Naked freshwater or marine or parasitic protozoa that form temporary pseudopods for feeding and locomotion. 9. A coenzyme derived from the B vitamin nicotinic acid. 10. The function or position properly or customarily occupied or served by another. 11. A genus of Ploceidae. 12. Wild sheep of northern Africa. 20. Small beads made from polished shells and formerly used as money by native Americans. 21. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 23. (informal) Exceptionally good. 26. A bachelor's degree in theology. 27. (Babylonian) God of wisdom and agriculture and patron of scribes and schools. 31. Not only so, but. 34. Fallow deer. 35. American prizefighter who won the world heavyweight championship three times (born in 1942). 36. A master's degree in business. 39. Wild llama. 40. A nucleic acid consisting of large molecules shaped like a double helix. 43. Tag the base runner to get him out. 45. A town in northern Michigan on an arm of Lake Huron. 46. The rate at which energy is drawn from a source that produces a flow of electricity in a circuit. 48. God of wealth and love. 50. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 53. Having an eye or eyes or eyelike feature especially as specified. 55. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 56. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 57. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 60. A period marked by distinctive character or reckoned from a fixed point or event. 61. (informal) `johnny' was applied as a nickname for Confederate soldiers by the Federal soldiers in the American Civil War. 62. A doctor's degree in education.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Complete projects and tie up loose ends today-outer circumstances are favorable and you will find it easy to push through the day quickly. You may decide to go home early this evening. If you are at home, home is the happiest place to be today. If you work out of your home, you are especially fortunate. Also, communication and research in all forms could be a key area for new concentration. You are not only forward moving and open-minded in the work place, you come up with brilliant ways to express, emote or act out things on the home front. New methods of lovemaking, raising kids and caring for animals are yours. You are outspoken, very dramatic, impressive and even regal. You relax with children, sports, acting, singing and such this evening.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Your tendency to compromise and settle for less than you dreamed can be a problem just now. Given the opportunity, you may choose the path of least resistance; willing to bypass some of the things you always wanted in favor of expediency. Career moves must be given special attention. While there are people around you that know you this evening, consider going over some of the ways you express your talents. You would be very good at teaching art to young people. You would also be very good at an import, export business. Confer with the people that love you and really focus on some goals for your professional future. Tension results when you ignore your own capabilities and take a course of action, job, career or whatever that can never satisfy. Leo (July 23-August 22) Your business expertise is highlighted today. You are motivated to achieve. Understanding inner motivations and seeing through to the core situation is your real path of power and enlightenment. As you try to balance errand-running, work and coordinating events, see if you can allocate some of the jobs that you feel are keeping you from your key work. Your work at home will also move along more smoothly if you can take on a helping hand. Be aware that a young person wants to help you today, not only because they want to help or join in the activities but also because they may want to get you alone to talk with you—listen. You are very fortunate in being able to progress throughout your life without too many difficulties. Smile.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) You will find that your mind and thoughts will be very intense just now. Most of the tension, however, is self-induced because of expectations. You do not have to lower the expectations that come at this time— just make your list and follow it. Business takes an upturn this afternoon. You have a knack for organizing things and people and you may find yourself instructing others in some special technique of yours. Close relationships have a big impact on your life. Old relationships will change or perhaps even end—new ones appear quickly. A partner has a mesmerizing impact on you; very compelling. Great music is a wonderful way to enjoy an attitude adjustment. You may find yourself looking for a little romance this evening.

Libra (September 23-October 22) An arrangement involving other people’s money is on your mind. Don’t do anything but explore your options. Co-workers give you the peace and quiet you need to do your job. Issues of fairness come into play and you will probably set the example for others to follow. This afternoon a question of choices comes into play. Your sense of quality, whether it is in the character of another, a good business deal or the purchases you make, tests your ability to discriminate. You could make your living with your good taste. Tonight you may spend some of your time in preparing some specialty food to take to a neighbor, shut-in or elderly person. A good book or rented movie nicely brings to end a very busy day.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Good practical job-

related thoughts are available today. The ability to communicate with superiors makes up the bulk of your day. You are at home in the world of concepts and ideas and are able to grasp the gist of the whole picture when given just a few facts. You move through the day quickly and look forward to a social gathering of friends this afternoon. There is a large desire to select furnishings, select clothing or stock the shelves for the coming winter months. This is a time of closure, of establishing limits—a home base from which to operate. You may also be experiencing a cycle of nostalgia and domesticity that emphasizes a need for security and a sense of roots. Family, home and relatives play a bigger part in your life at this time. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Work issues may not seem easy to solve this day, but surprise solutions just seem to happen. You seem to be running on automatic all day long. You rush to finish work a little early this afternoon so that you can complete some plans for the upcoming weekend activities. Perhaps you will be shopping for camping equipment or getting food supplies together for a special trip. Make out a list for this activity and perhaps pass out the list to each friend or family member to review or to be helpful—you will not worry so much! You have a natural sense for communicating with others, especially those younger than yourself. Clear thoughts about the past may also be flowing in today. Making peace with the past is essential in having a future success.

Yesterdayʼs Solution

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Today is

a great time to put your mind to work and get things accomplished. Your career or life-path may depend on your talent for responding and making something out of ideas and insights; whatever is new and challenging. The business world may call for your ability to react and build on opportunities. Your urge to organize and be practical with your responsibilities amounts to a minor obsession at this time. Your career motivation is relentless. There are new highs of accomplishment. Circumstances stimulate appreciation and enjoyment of your life situation. Your system of values may deepen. While it may be a bit early, tonight is good time to talk and plan with your loved one about the goals for the next year.

Yesterdayʼs Solution

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) In many respects, the work you do and the ways in which you take care of yourself or present yourself to others are important keys to your best potential. There is a need for focus and careful analysis in these areas of your life. Set up systems and schedules and stick to them! You put forth a lot of effort, particularly regarding your career. Your drive and ambitious attitude works well with whatever management skills and practical ability you have, producing a harmonious work environment. A get-together after work allows you to relax and relate to co-workers and higher-ups in a more relaxed way. Your presence in a room is very powerful. Do some networking or political canvassing to win support for an important cause— do not be pushy.

INTERNATIONAL CALLS Kuwait Qatar Abu Dhabi Dubai Raas Al Khayma Al-Shareqa Muscat Jordan Bahrain Riyadh Makkah - Jeddah Cairo Alexandria Beirut Damascus Allepo

00965 00974 009712 009714 009717 009716 00968 009626 00973 009661 009662 00202 00203 009611 0096311 0096321

Tunisia Rabat Washington New York Paris London Madrid Zurich Geneva Monaco Rome Bangkok Hong Kong Pakistan Taiwan Bonn

0021610 002127 001212 001718 00331 004471 00341 00411 004122 0033 00396 00662 00852 0092 00886 0049228

Word Sleuth Solution

Pisces (February 19-March 20) Get clarity on financial matters. Promised funds may not come through just now. Review your budget and adjust accordingly. Outer circumstances are favorable and should be easy for you to push forward in projects and in all areas of your life. Things may seem almost miraculous in the way they work out in your favor. This is a great time to organize and get things accomplished. A relentless getting down to essentials makes your sense of management and practical vision very deep. You have a sense of mass psychology, how to organize and manipulate sensitive areas of the public mind. A very simple gathering of several friends this evening reveals you as successful. Congratulations, you have had a very full and successful day.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

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New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

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Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy

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25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554


PRIVATE CLINICS Ophthalmologists: Dr. Abidallah Al-Mansoor Dr. Samy Al-Rabeea Dr. Masoma Habeeb Dr. Mubarak Al-Ajmy Dr. Mohsen Abel Dr Adnan Hasan Alwayl Dr. Abdallah Al-Baghly

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Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT): Dr. Ahmed Fouad Mouner 24555050 Ext 510 Dr. Abdallah Al-Ali 25644660 Dr. Abd Al-Hameed Al-Taweel 25646478 Dr. Sanad Al-Fathalah 25311996 Dr. Mohammad Al-Daaory 25731988 Dr. Ismail Al-Fodary 22620166 Dr. Mahmoud Al-Booz 25651426 General Practitioners: Dr. Mohamme Y Majidi 24555050 Ext 123 Dr. Yousef Al-Omar 24719312 Dr. Tarek Al-Mikhazeem 23926920 Dr. Kathem Maarafi 25730465 Dr. Abdallah Ahmad Eyadah 25655528 Dr. Nabeel Al-Ayoobi 24577781 Dr. Dina Abidallah Al-Refae 25333501 Urologists: Dr. Ali Naser Al-Serfy 22641534 Dr. Fawzi Taher Abul 22639955 Dr. Khaleel Abidallah Al-Awadi22616660 Dr. Adel Al-Hunayan FRCS (C) 25313120 Plastic Surgeons: Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf 22547272

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Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah

22617700 25625030/60

Family Doctor: Dr Divya Damodar 23729596/23729581

Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr.

Zahra Qabazard Sohail Qamar Snaa Maaroof Pradip Gujare Zacharias Mathew

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(1) Ear, Nose and Throat Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari 22635047 Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan 22613623/0 Gynaecologists & Obstetricians: Dr Adrian Harbe 23729596/23729581 Dr. Verginia s.Marin 2572-6666 ext 8321 Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan 22655539 Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami 25343406 Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly 25739272 Dr. Salem soso 22618787 General Surgeons:

Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer 22610044 Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher 25327148

Paediatricians: Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed 25340300

Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi 25330060 Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah 25722290

(2) Plastic Surgeon Dr. Abdul Mohsin Jafar, FRCS (Canada)

25655535 Dentists:

Dr Anil Thomas


Dr. Shamah Al-Matar


Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed


Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer


Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan


Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash


Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari



Internist, Chest & Heart: DR.Mohammes Akkad 24555050 Ext 210 Dr. Mohammad Zubaid MB, ChB, FRCPC, PACC Assistant Professor Of Medicine Head, Division of Cardiology Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital Tel: 25339667 Dr. Farida Al-Habib MD, PH.D, FACC Consultant Cardiologist Tel: 2611555-2622555 Inaya German Medical Center Te: 2575077 Fax: 25723123

Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri 25633324 Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan

Internists, Chest & Heart: Dr. Adnan Ebil 22639939 Dr. Mousa Khadada 22666300 Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan 25728004 Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra 25355515 Dr. Mobarak Aldoub 24726446 Dr Nasser Behbehani 25654300/3

Physiotherapists & VD: Dr. Deyaa Shehab 25722291 Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees 22666288


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly 25322030 Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali


Endocrinologist: Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman 25339330 Dr. Ahmad Al-Ansari


Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr


Psychologists/Psychotherapists Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688 Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, Ph.D. 2290-1677 Susannah-Joy Schuilenberg, M.A. 2290-1677 William Schuilenberg, RPC 2290-1677 Zaina Al Zabin, M.Sc. 2290-1677

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he ‘Harry Potter’ actor has made an estimated £45.6 million, £25 million of which comes from the final two films in the series ‘The Deathly Hallows’, alone, almost £15 million more than the secondplaced star, 25-year-old Keira Knightley, who has made a fortune of £30.1 million so far. Four of the top five money-makers in the list compiled by heat magazine come from the wizard movie series made famous by Daniel, with Emma Watson and Rupert Grint making £20.6 million and £19 million respectively. ‘Twilight: Saga’ actor Robert Pattinson - who appeared in ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ - was placed fifth, having earned £18.5 million so far. Britain’s highest earning music star is ‘Bleeding Love’ singer Leona Lewis, who has generated a £12.5 million fortune since winning ‘The X Factor’ in 2006, placing her in sixth place. Heat editor Sam Delaney said the list proved not all rich people are “corrupt, cigar-chomping fat cats”. He said: “In these tight financial times, there’s a great deal of animosity felt towards society’s richest. But who could possibly resent the millions earned by a charming young rascal like Daniel Radcliffe? “The heat rich list is proof that not all mega-rich people are corrupt, cigar-chomping fat cats. This list is full of young people who have largely made their cash out of putting smiles on other people’s faces” Other notable inclusions on the list include Sienna Miller at 17, who at £6.1 million has earned less than Arctic Monkeys’ singer Alex Turner, who has amassed an estimated fortune of £7.5 million. ‘X Factor’ judge Cheryl Cole has earned £7.9 million, putting her ahead of all her Girls Aloud bandmates.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


THE FULL HEAT RICH LIST 2010 1. Daniel Radcliffe, 21 (£45,660,000) 2. Keira Knightley, 25 (£30,100,000) 3. Emma Watson, 20 (£20,633,000) 4. Rupert Grint, 22 (£19,000,000) 5. Robert Pattinson, 24 (£18,500,000) 6. Leona Lewis, 25 (£12,533,000) 7. Charlotte Church, 24 (10,330,000) 8. Katie Melua, 26 (£10,118,000) 9. Katherine Jenkins, 30 (£9,716,000) 10.Coleen Rooney, 24 (£9,080,000) 11.Craig David, 29 (£9,000,000) 12.Joss Stone, 23 (£8,303,000) 13.Mika, 27 (£8,026,000) 14.Cheryl Cole, 27 (£7,916,000) 15.Amy Winehouse, 27 (£7,833,0000

he 29-year-old actress already has a two-year-old daughter Honor with her husband Cash Warren, but is keen to give her little girl a sibling. She said: “Honor’s so beautiful and I feel so enriched by being part of her life. She’s my main priority now and I want to give her the best life possible. Before she was born I was totally focused on my career, but now with Cash and our daughter I feel that I’m building a wonderful family. I would like to have more children at some point.” The ‘Machete’ actress says having a child brought her and


16.Alex Turner, 24 (£7,500,000) 17.Sienna Miller, 29 (£6, 183,000) 18.Emily Blunt, 27 (£5,933,000) 19.Gemma Arterton, 24 (£5,666,000) 20.Duffy, 26 (£5,617,000) 21.James Morrison, 26 (£5,117,000) 22.Kelly Brook, 30 *(£5,100,000) 23.Natasha Bedingfield, 29 (£4,783,000) 24.Lily Allen, 25 (£4,683,000) 25.Paolo Nutini, 23 (£4,116,000) 26.Kimberley Walsh, 29 (£3,890,000) 26.Sarah Harding, 29 (£3,890,000) 28.Nadine Coyle, 25 (£3,556,000) 29.Nicola Roberts, 25 (£3,233,000) 30.Jamie Bell, 24 (£2,750,000)

Cash - who married in May 2008 - closer together and she insists he is the most important thing to her now. She added to Look magazine: “We didn’t plan on starting a family so soon but when it happened we realized what a beautiful moment it was. We’re a lot closer. The beauty of marriage and having a family is knowing you’re sharing everything with someone else and are committed to being part of each other’s lives. Cash and I understand that and together with our daughter, we want to have a wonderful life.”

he ‘Firework’ singer tied the knot with comedian Russell Brand, 35, in an intimate ceremony in India but still can’t get used to calling him her husband. She said: “I forget to call him ‘my husband’ sometimes and still say ‘my boyfriend’. But I’ll get there.” Katy and Russell spent Thanksgiving with the singer’s parents in Santa Barbara, and though she had promised their celebration would be as “wild” as usual, the family were making one change - a tofu turkey to please the vegetarian funnyman. She said: “We’re gonna cook a tofu turkey!” Speaking about the family celebrations she added: “We’re gonna put him through it again. Ha!” Though Katy keeps forgetting she is married to Russell, her parents Keith and Mary Hudson are thrilled to have welcomed him into their family. Keith said recently: “I could not have wished for a better son-in-law in Russell. He makes my girl so happy. She’s so happy and he makes her light up. They’re going to be just fine. “You couldn’t see two happier people.”

T he 20-year-old singer is enjoying living alone for the first time in her life because she can chat to herself whenever she likes. The musician who is rumored to be dating actor Jake Gyllenhaal - confessed: “Living alone you can do so many fantastic things. “You can walk around and have conversations with yourself and, like, sing your thoughts ... I think I’m the only one who does that.” But the country star, who has a fish pond in her sitting room and a conservatory in the shape of a birdcage at her apartment in Nashville, Tennessee, claims she doesn’t expect to have any wild parties at her swanky pad. She said: “I have the deeply engrained fear of getting into trouble and being sent to the principal’s office of life.” And the clean-living beauty says the best thing about turning 21 next month isn’t that she can legally drink alcohol but that she will be allowed to go to more concerts. She added to US talk show host Chelsea Handler: “I get to go to the concerts now that my friends used to leave me at home for.”


he Canadian singer is due to tie the knot with Argentinean beauty Luisana Lopilato next April and has revealed the couple will say their vows in ceremonies in each of their home countries. He told ET Canada: “We are doing one in Argentina and that’s for her close family, and then we are doing one in Vancouver.” For their honeymoon, Michael revealed Luisana is hopeful the couple can fly out to Africa after their two wedding ceremonies to undertake voluntary work. The ‘Haven’t Met You Yet’ hitmaker has previously revealed he has to step up security massively when he is in Argentina because his actress-andmodel partner is such a big star. He said recently: “You can’t imagine. I have to hire security. Like, not just a little bit of security - I have to hire like an army. “When I’m in Canada, no one follows me. There (Argentina) the paparazzi will stand in front of the car and then they’ll lie on the car so you can’t go anywhere. And there are tons of them and they chase you on their bikes ... It’s amazing. It’s like a movie or something.” The couple - who have been dating for two years - have bases in Argentina, Canada and Los Angeles but Michael insists neither of them mind where they settle down. — Bangshowbiz


he Scottish singing sensation - who shot to worldwide fame after appearing on UK TV talent show ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ in 2009 is in talks to have her meteoric rise to fame chronicled in a new stage production and even hopes to take the lead role in the show. She said: “I’m definitely going to be on stage. I’d rather that than having to sit watching people up there looking like me. “I want to be doing the music parts, so I’ll be coming in and out of the show. I’m looking forward to doing some live work. It’ll be really nice to see so many of the people who


have supported me in person.” Producers are reportedly planning to take the show - which will chronicle the 49-year-old star’s modest upbringing in Blackburn, West Lothian, her period living alone with her cat and her rise to stardom - on a huge UK tour late next year as they believe it will be extremely popular. A source told The Sun newspaper: “Susan has incredibly loyal fans. People will be travelling from all over the world to see her perform in her own musical. “I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them book tickets to watch it five nights in a row.”


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

This photo shows a drawing of a dice by Picasso. A retired French electrician and his wife have come forward with 271 undocumented, never-before-seen works by Pablo Picasso estimated to be worth at least euro 60 million ($79.35 million). — AP photos

This photo shows a painting of a hand by Picasso.

By Jamey Keaten ablo Picasso almost never stopped creating, leaving thousands of drawings, paintings and sculptures that lure crowds to museums and mansions worldwide. Now, a retired electrician says that 271 of the master’s creations have been sitting for decades in his garage. Picasso’s heirs are claiming theft, the art world is savoring what appears to be an authentic find, and the workman, who installed burglar alarms for Picasso, is defending what he calls a gift from the most renowned artist of the 20th century. Picasso’s son and other heirs say they were approached by electrician Pierre Le Guennec in September to authenticate the undocumented art from Picasso’s signature Cubist period. Instead, they filed a suit for illegal possession of the works - all but alleging theft by a man not known to be among the artist’s friends. Police raided the electrician’s French Riviera home last month, questioned him and his wife and confiscated the disputed artworks. Le Guennec and his wife say Picasso’s second wife gave them a trunk full of art that they kept virtually untouched until


This photo shows a drawing of a guitar.

By Ros Krasny t 932 pages, “The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century,” could logically be subtitled “all the recipes that are fit to print” Award-winning food writer Amanda Hesser conceived the book as an update to Craig Claiborne’s classic “The New York Times Cookbook,” which has sold nearly 3 million copies since 1961. But Hesser, who worked in bakeries in Italy, France and Germany, quickly suspected she might have bitten off more than she could chew in diving into the huge recipe archive. “At first I was trying to distill the recipes from essentially the 1950s forward. But what I didn’t realize was that the New York Times had been writing about food since the 1850s,” she said. After more than five years of cooking, the huge tome — 4.6 pounds (2 kilos) — has hit bookstores just in time for the holiday season. “For a cook it was this great playground of recipes where you found all of these old favorites but there are also likely to be new discoveries,” Hesser said.


The book includes dishes by cooks ranging from Claiborne and Julia Child to Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver as well as many more obscure offerings as well. Hesser also put out a call to readers for their favorite recipes from the Times. The clear winner, from thousands of responses, was purple plum torte, first published in 1983. Some of the oldest recipes, submitted by readers, anticipated items that would become popular decades later such as Granita, the shaved

ice dessert popular in higher-end Italian restaurants in the late 1980s and early 1990s. “The New York Times published a recipe, and a great recipe, for raspberry granita in 1895,” Hesser said. “It’s a reminder that what goes around comes around in the food world, kind of like fashion. Trends go in and out, and we revisit things, and we re-interpret them. I hope to celebrate that in the book.” Another discovery was a Spanish braised beef dish called Fricco-a hearty offering that anticipated the simplicity of Hesser’s Times colleague Mark Bittman, known for his weekly column “The Minimalist” and series of cookbooks. “It’s just layers of beef, and potatoes, and onions, and a little bit of cream. It’s European country cooking: very few ingredients and a lot of time.” Hesser, who played herself in the popular 2009 movie “Julie and Julia,” said she wanted to unearth hidden gems and translate the recipe writing in a way that would make them accessible to the modern cook. Many early recipes gave few details to help the home cook. “I took the sense of the old recipe and wrote it with an ingredient list and instructions so anyone can make it.” Hesser and her associate Merrill Stubbs, founders of the blog, usually cooked two nights after work, and again on weekends, working their way through about ten to 20 recipes each week in the author’s New York kitchen. “We would meet, she would have done the shopping and then we would cook all night, and then sit down usually at 10:30 or 11 for dinner,” Hesser said. “It was folded into our regular lives. And we felt like that’s the way that people would use this book.” The book is organized to aid navigation. Within chapters such as soups, beef dishes or desserts, the recipes are listed chronologically. Hesser offers commentary on most recipes and a short history of how certain trends evolved. Suggested food pairings are provided. The book concludes with groupings of recipes: Thanksgiving dishes, for example, or Spanish foods. Even a Super Bowl party menu is offered. “I wanted it to be a book that you would turn to on a weeknight, but also to find that classic that would be completely unapologetic in its thoroughness,” Hesser said. “Some things are forgotten about and slip under the radar, and eventually somebody digs up that recipe or that dish and revives it. That’s the beauty of cooking, that everything can be revisited and reinterpreted and be made to feel new again.” — Reuters


they decided to put their affairs in order for their children. The Picasso estate describes that account as ridiculous. “When Picasso made just a little drawing on a metro ticket, he would keep it,” said Jean-Jacques Neuer, a lawyer for Picasso’s estate. “To think he could have given 271 works of art to somebody who isn’t even known among his friends is of course absurd.” The pieces, which include lithographs, portraits, a watercolor and sketches, were created between 1900 and 1932, an intensely creative period for Picasso after he moved from Barcelona to Paris. Among them are a richly colored hand study; a sketch of his first wife, Russian ballerina Olga Khokhlova, resting an elbow in a seated pose; and a collage of a pipe and bottle. The collage and eight others in the stash are worth 40 million euros on their own, Picasso’s estate says. All of the art is now held by the French agency charged with battling illegal traffic in cultural items. Le Guennec, 71, claims to have worked at three of Picasso’s properties in southern France: a Cannes villa, a chateau in Vauvenarges, and a farmhouse in Mougins, the town where Picasso died in 1973. The French daily

he globe-trotting adventures of intrepid boy reporter Tintin have been opened up to hundreds of millions of Hindi speakers in India after translations by a local enthusiast. The first eight of the original books by late Belgian author and illustrator Herge have gone on sale in the most widely spoken of India’s many vernacular languages, with four more to come in the short-term. The books, created 80 years ago originally in French, have already been translated into more than 80 languages and have sold 230 million copies worldwide, according to the official website. Translator Ajay Mago said finding Hindi terms for phrases and jokes used routinely by Tintin and friends throughout their travels was a difficult task. Each book took about two months to finish. “The hardest to translate was ‘billions of bilious blue blistering barnacles’,” Mago told


This photo shows an artwork “Papier colle pipe et bouteille” (Copy paste pipe and bottle) by Picasso.

Liberation, which broke the story Monday, said Le Guennec had installed a security alarm system for Picasso at the farmhouse. “It’s a big surprise both in terms of the numbers and the quality... (of works) appearing from one day to the next,” said Anne Baldassari, president of the Picasso Museum in Paris. “We are moved, surprised, intrigued - firstly moved, to have found an uninventoried stash of Picasso works.” Guennec’s wife Danielle told The Associated Press by phone from their home in the town of Mouans-Sartoux, just north of Antibes, that the couple decided to come forward with the works this year because they were getting on in years, and “didn’t want to leave any headaches to our children” with their own estate. Her husband had undergone a cancer treatment operation in March, she said. The couple didn’t intend to sell the art, she said. “This was a gift,” she said. “We aren’t thieves. We didn’t do anything wrong.” The work didn’t appear to be much to her untrained eye, she said: “But even if this was a little jot of the pencil, it did come from the master.” Pierre Le Guennec, wearing a plaid shirt in an interview with France-2 TV outside his

modest home, said he was given the trunk by Picasso’s second wife and most-painted muse, Jacqueline Roque. “Madame gave them to me. And if she gave them to me, he had to be aware of it,” said Le Guennec. Roque died in 1986. “It was a small pack like this,” he said, gesturing with his hands as if he was holding a basketball. “It was little drawings, little odds and ends, little pieces of paper. It could have gone in the trash.” He elaborated on TF1 TV: “The master must have been hopping mad. Something didn’t suit him, maybe he was angry at someone, and said: ‘Here, give that to the electrician.”‘ Picasso’s son Claude, quoted in Liberation, noted that his father was known for his generosity, but that he always dedicated, dated and signed his gifts, as he knew that some recipients might try to sell the works one day. The estate administrators, who pored over the works for about three hours in September, considered that the works might be fakes. But they ruled that out because of the expertise, variety of techniques and the use of certain numbers in the works that no faker was likely to have known, Neuer said. “My husband was well-regarded by the master,” Danielle Le Guennec said,

AFP, a phrase familiar to fans of the grizzled and heavy-drinking seadog character Captain Haddock. “You’re talking about something that is in the sea and there is no direct parallel of it in Hindi.” Tintin is already available in India in English and Bengali, a language spoken in the eastern state of West Bengal. “There is this whole population in India who cannot read English and now it is available to them,” Mago said at the books’ launch at the Belgium embassy in New Delhi on Monday. Herge, accused by critics of representing European colonial-era views, sends Tintin to India in three of his 24 titles: the Blue Lotus; Cigars of the Pharaoh; and Tintin in Tibet, during which he does some sight-seeing in Delhi. “I don’t think he (Herge) ever treated the non-white races with contempt,” said Mago, who said the depictions of India and Indians in the books were fair. — AFP

By Matt Moore fter chewing up television with its wildly popular Shark Week, Discovery Communications aims to snatch an even bigger bite for its popular franchise: comic books. The parent company of Discovery Channel and Animal Planet hopes to make a big splash when it releases its first comic book, “Top 10 Deadliest Sharks.” The book - dubbed a nonfiction graphic novel - comes out today and is being published by Philadelphia’s Zenescope Entertainment under the Silver Dragon Books imprint. Like its namesake television counterpart, the “Shark” graphic novel takes a serious but accessible look at some of the species’ deadliest and dangerous members. Using Andy Dehart, the network’s resident shark expert - and public face of the annual TV event - the graphic novel boasts 10 stories based on real events and spotlights a particular shark. “Discovery’s mission has always been to help viewers satisfy curiosity about the world around them through breathtaking imagery and stories,” said Elizabeth Bakacs, vice president of licensing at Discovery Communications. She said it was only natural for the network to leap into graphic novels as a way to not just tell its stories, but garner a new arena for its popular programming. “We like to call this, instead of graphic fiction, graphic non-fiction,” she told The Associated Press. “It has real-life shark


but noted that the couple was having “a little difficulty” with his son. “He’s stabbed us in the back, taken us to court and accused us of theft. He’ll have to prove it,” she said. “We’re still happy to have our works... we’ll see what happens next.” The total number of Picasso works around the world remains unknown, said Baldassari. About 70,000 works have been inventoried among his heirs, but that doesn’t include works he sold off or that are in museums, for example. Picasso works are among the most coveted among thieves. In May, a Picasso lithograph was stolen from a collector’s home in southeastern Marseille; days earlier, one of his paintings was taken from a Paris museum - one of the works swiped in a massive $123 million art heist. That same month, “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust,” a 1932 Picasso painting of his mistress, set a world record for any work of art at auction, selling for $106.5 million at Christie’s New York. The Art Loss Register, which tracks stolen, looted or missing art, now lists 702 stolen Picasso pieces, including paintings, lithographs, drawings and ceramics. He is the most-listed artist in its database of 214,000 art pieces. — AP

Statues are on display at the exhibition of “The First Emperor, China’s entombed warriors” at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, yesterday. Discovered by villagers in 1974, the underground army was created to protect the first emperor of China, Qin Shihuang (259210 BC) in readiness for the afterlife. — AP

attack stories. It has tips on how to stay safe and avoid shark attacks. It talks about the importance of sharks to our ecosystem. The book goes on sale Dec 1 in comic book shops, online and Zenescope’s website. It will be available in larger book stores starting in January. “It is definitely going to have a broader appeal beyond the hard-core comic books shops,” she said. Bakacs said the graphic novel is the first, but won’t be the last. It will be followed in 2011 by “Discovery Channel’s Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Predators” and “Animal Planet’s World’s Most Dangerous Animals.” The latter will be tied to Discovery Channel’s planned dinosaur miniseries, “Reign of the Dinosaurs,” that is scheduled to premiere next summer. The third graphic novel, “Dangerous Animals,” examines predators that have, on occasion, been known to sample people, including the Grizzly Bear, African lion and Salt Water Crocodile. Joe Brusha, of Zenescope, said the new series is a step away from its normal fare - tales of fantasy and derring-do - but that work on the first graphic novel was designed to “capture the visual intensity and first-rate storytelling of Discovery’s programming within the graphic novel arena.” The publisher’s other works include “Grimm’s Fairy Tales,” “Return to Wonderland” and “Charmed,” which serves as a prequel to the former television show about a trio of young witches dealing with incantations and their own social lives. — AP


38 By Christy Lemire

eriously, who thought this was a good idea? Who thought, OK, let’s take a classic tale like “The Nutcracker,” a holiday favorite that families have enjoyed together for over a century, turn it into a movie, convert it into 3-D, write lyrics to accompany Tchaikovsky’s beloved music, then twist the plot to include an oppressive, fascist society reminiscent of Nazi Germany, complete with a Hitler figure and uniform-clad minions? It boggles the mind, but that’s what you get in “The Nutcracker in 3-D,” which seems too weird and dark for children - and not in an i n t r i g u i n g , a r t i s t i c w a y l i ke “ B a m b i ” o r “Fantasia” - but won’t entertain adults, either. Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky has said he’s spent the past 20 years working to bring “The Nutcracker” to the screen. Seeing the result makes you wish he’d devoted all that time and effort to a more worthwhile endeavor. Pointing a camera at the New York City Ballet performing George Balanchine’s


By Sylvia Hui William and Catherine monogram mug? A pair of hand-crafted swan paperweights? A dainty wedding bell, perhaps? With the array of romantic memorabilia flooding the market, royal fans worldwide don’t have to wait till next year to celebrate Prince William’s wedding. Almost as soon as the prince announced his engagement to long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton, souvenir shops and chinaware producers have been inundated with order requests for special edition mugs, plates and assorted collectibles. In a generally bleak retail landscape, British businesses have high hopes the wedding can bring in some badly needed cash. “We’ve taken masses of pre-sales orders, and people have actually placed orders on items that they can’t even see pictures of because they’re not available yet,” said Stephen Church, whose family has been selling collectibles from a shop in England’s Northampton for over 100 years. Manufacturers have had special tableware designed months ago - it only took the official announcement of when (April 29) and where (Westminster Abbey) for the race to


By James Hibberd espite landing a ton of press, the series premiere of E!’s controversial new reality show “Bridalplasty” was left at the ratings altar Sunday. “Bridalplasty”— where bridesto-be compete for extreme plastic surgery procedures— drew only 900,000 viewers at 9 pm. E!’s other Sunday night fare this year like “The Spin Crowd” (1.8 million) and “Holly’s World” (2 million) averaged much higher season numbers. And “Bridalplasty” isn’t even in the same universe as Sunday hits like “Kourtney & Khloe” (which averaged 3.2 million viewers during the summer). On the other hand, noth-


cash in to begin in earnest. It’s a retail fever that has gripped people from all corners of the world. There is strong interest from collectors in the US and other countries with no royals, Church said. As for Britons - especially those living overseas - owning royal memorabilia could be a way to connect with their country and display patriotism. “For the British, it’s a feeling of security,” he said. “It’s part of life’s routine that the royal family is there. Buying commemorative products is part of cherishing them.” Royal births, coronations and weddings have been marked with souvenir ceramics for centuries, and the commemorative china industry is nearly as steeped in tradition as the royal family itself. So skip novelty items like cell phone covers and mouse pads - serious collectors will be sticking to mugs and plates, Church said. “People aren’t looking for something different,” he said. “With a royal event, it’s all about tradition.” So what’s on offer? To share royal adulation with the love of your life, consider getting a specially commissioned royal “loving cup” - a mug with two handles. Aynsley China, which has been making chinaware to mark royal events

ing can stop “The Walking Dead” over at AMC. The zombie show’s fifth and penultimate episode drew a series record 5.5 million viewers at 10 p.m., slightly beating its Halloween series premiere. It’s also a 15% hike from the fourth episode. Elsewhere in ratings news, ABC’s “The View” hit a season high of 3.7 million viewers during the week ended Nov. 19, while new CBS rival “The Talk” had its best performance since its premiere week in midOctober. “The Talk” averaged 2.1 million viewers, rising slightly from the prior week. So far, “The Talk” may not be blowing up the ratings, but it’s proving to be a very steady performer. — Reuters

version of “The Nutcracker” would have been far preferable - then again, so would videotaping a bunch of 9-year-old aspiring ballerinas doing it. This isn’t exactly a ballet on film. This is more like a live-action hodgepodge in which the characters sporadically burst into awkward song and dance. There is some choreography to go along with “Waltz of the Flowers,” though it’s performed by figures made out of computer-generated snowflakes whose moves are so fuzzy, it’s impossible to determine what they’re doing. At one point, there’s a sparkly Snow Fairy who ice skates, but that’s not even enjoyable in a kitschy kind of way. At the center of it all, as in the original, is a little girl. Here, her name has been changed to Mary and she’s played by Elle Fanning, whose preternatural poise and intelligence can’t do a thing to save this. It’s Christmas in 1920s Vienna, but Mary’s parents (Richard E Grant and Yulia Visotskaya) don’t seem to have much time for her or her younger brother (Aaron Michael Drozin). Their Uncle Albert shows up with

since Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897, has one of these gems. They also have royal engagement-themed plates and coasters featuring portraits of William and Middleton. The designs have been ready for six months and will hit the shops just before Christmas, sales director John Wallis said. Royal Doulton, another chinamaker, has a similar floral-edged plate that has a picture of the youthful couple gazing lovingly at each other. Church predicts particularly strong demand for memorabilia from Halcyon Days, a prominent china company known for the hand-painted enamel boxes it makes to celebrate big royal occasions. For memorabilia with a twist, Royal Crown Derby has a set of white and gold swan paperweights, called William and Catherine, with necks curved to represent a heart. Cygnet paperweights can come soon, too - the company is already lining up designs for the next range, in anticipation of royal babies. “It won’t be long before we start (product) modeling for children,” sales director Simon Willis said. Suitably for such a fairytale wedding, the company is also making a royal Welsh dragon - the mythical symbol of Wales, where William is based. The design-

some toys, including a wooden nutcracker shaped like a boy, whom he has nicknamed NC. Uncle Alber t is meant to be Alber t Einstein, and Nathan L ane plays him as a jaunty, heavily accented buffoon who frequently looks into the camera to make inane observations. He also sings a song to the kids about the Theory of Relativity which is painful in its literal-mindedness. This is just one example of the clunky lyrics Tim Rice (“Evita,” “Jesus Christ Superstar”) has contributed, which distract from the purity and grace of the music. During “Waltz of the Flowers,” the Snow Fairy (also Visotskaya) sings to Mary: “Is each day a new beginning? Do you have a fight worth winning?” It’s just needless. In keeping vaguely to the original story line, Mary goes to sleep but awakens in the middle of the night to find the Christmas tree has grown and the toys have come to life. She enters the tree with NC (a mix of animated figure voiced by Shirley Henderson and live performance from Charlie Rowe), who’s actually a prince

ers have been creative with the product line: there are also W&C monogram heartshaped trays, wedding bells, a set of dwarfs wearing commemorative hats, and a paperweight featuring a hand-painted peacock and roses that will cost more than 3,000 pounds ($4,665) each. Royal fans on a commoner’s budget need not despair. Easy access to digital technology means that almost anyone can print a picture of William on a mug, and many cheaply made T-shirts, tea towels and thimbles are up for grabs on the auction site Just don’t count on them becoming cash in the attic a decade or two on: Hundreds of souvenir items like biscuit tins and stamps marking Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s 1981 nuptials swamp the site, with few inviting much bidding interest. The list of businesses taking advantage of the royal wedding craze goes on. The supermarket chain Tesco is targeting women who want to copy Middleton’s style on the cheap with a 16-pound ($25) version of her dark blue silk engagement dress, while QVC, an online and television shopping company, said sales of its 34-pound ($53) “diamonique” knockoff of Middleton’s

cast under a spell. Soon, Mary finds that they’re both the targets of the Rat King (John Turturro), a cruel dictator who burns toys to create a giant smoke cloud that blocks out the sun. Yes, you read that right. A large portion of “The Nutcracker in 3-D” takes place in the Rat King’s bleak realm; in a flamboyant performance, Turturro wears a wig reminiscent of Andy Warhol but prances around in a military uniform, ordering his troops (some of whom have nasally New York accents) to snatch toys from the hands of weeping children. Then he, too, bursts into song, and it’s so campy, it’s like something out of “The Producers.” It’s not as if the visuals redeem the bizarre content; the lousy conversion from 2-D doesn’t exactly make the film an eye-popping delight. If this movie can be useful in any way, hopefully it will hammer home the point that not everything needs to be in 3D. In fact, most movies don’t. “The Nutcracker in 3-D,” from Freestyle Releasing, is rated PG. Running time: 107 minutes. One star out of four. — AP

sapphire and diamond engagement ring rocketed 800 percent the day after the engagement. All that merchandise can add up to as much as 18 million pounds ($28 million) of retail sales, said Neil Saunders, consulting director of retail researchers Verdict. And that’s just the engagement - the wedding itself can bring in more than 26 million pounds ($40 million), Saunders said, on top of the hundreds of millions that tourists already spend every year on visiting palaces and buying monarchy-related souvenirs. For Ron Smith, who runs an online business selling royal commemorative items, the meaning of collecting royal products has changed since the Victorian times when subjects collected those items to show their allegiance to the British crown. Smith said he has taken many inquiries about the upcoming royal wedding from non-Commonwealth locales such as Alaska and Japan, as well as from royalists in Canada. “People these days don’t buy it because they are loyal to the crown,” he said, adding that many of his clients are middle-aged or older and simply started collecting things once they retired and found little else to do. — AP anadian teen idol Justin Bieber said Monday he plans to go to university, even after selling millions of albums by the age of just 16 after being discovered on YouTube. “I always travel with a private tutor who I have five three-hour sessions a week with,” he told a news conference in Madrid where he is promoting his third album “My Worlds: The Collection”. “I want to finish high school and also university and then evolve wherever my music takes me. I also want to stick my head in the movie world although I am going to focus on my music for now.” About 5,000 people flocked to a Bieber autograph session at a record store in downtown Madrid on Monday despite the rain and cold, the online edition of daily newspaper El Mundo reported. The singer, who will perform for the first time in Spain in April 2011, won all four awards he was nominated for at the American Music Awards last week, including favorite artist, making him the youngest ever winner of the trophy. The turning point for Bieber came in 2007 when his mother posted home-made videos of him performing cover songs from Usher, Justin Timberlake and Stevie Wonder on YouTube for friends and family to see. The videos ended up attracting a wider audience and Usher ultimately signed Bieber to RBMG/Island Def Jam. The teenager, whose hits include “One Less Lonely Girl” and “Love Me”, currently has 15 million fans on Facebook and six million followers on Twitter. “I will never close my accounts on Facebook and Twitter because it is a way to interact with my fans,” he said. — AFP


US singer Patti Smith poses in front of a giant poster of late Chilean writer Roberto Bolano in Madrid during a ceremony at the Casa de America, announcing a week paying tribute to Bolano. — AFP

By Mark Kennedy rendan Fraser drew up one of the strangest todo lists before making his Broadway debut. First, he wanted to go to Oslo, Norway. There, he hoped to eat gravy, walk by a lake, visit a mental institution, talk to social workers, grab a bite with some car mechanics, hang out at a poetry reading, munch on a hot dog, and buy some comic books. “Oh yeah,” he says. “I also wanted to learn how to swear in Norwegian.” All that was to get into character before hitting the stage in the New York premiere of “Elling,” a sort of “Odd Couple” set in modern-day Norway with two recently released mental patients. That was the plan at least, but Fraser ran out of time at the end of the summer and never got a chance to get to Norway. He relied on notes from his co-star Denis O’Hare, YouTube videos, maps of Oslo and, oh yeah, the script. “Everything you need to know as far as preparation, whether you’re doing Shakespeare or a contemporary piece, should all be right here,” he says, pointing to Simon Bent’s script. “And if it’s not, then there’s a clue about where to find it if you’re paying attention.” Fraser may be better known for his comedic turns in “Dudley DoRight” and “Bedazzled,” or his action movies such as the cadaver-bashing “The Mummy” franchise, or his more serious film roles like “Gods and Monsters” and “Crash,” but he has also ventured onto the stage. He played Brick in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” in London in 2001 and starred in John Patrick Shanley’s “Four Dogs and a Bone” in 1995 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. He looks tired but jazzed


as he puts the finishing touches on “Elling.” “In the end, it pretty much becomes about just brute memorization and burning calories. You put all the glittery bits aside,” he says while munching on almonds in his dressing room at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. O’Hare, a Tony Award-winner, says he’s been impressed by how Fraser has thrown himself into the role. “This is an actor with immense bravery,” O’Hare says. “He has gone flatout and has never winced once when our director, Doug Hughes, makes a criticism.” The comedy, based on the novels by Ingvar Ambjornsen, was made into a cult, Oscar-nominated foreign-language film and adapted in Norwegian for the stage by Axel Hellstenius and Petter Naess. This English-language version comes to Broadway after a wellreceived run in London. Fraser, 41, remembers liking the film when it made the rounds as an Academy Award screener in 2001 and he kept his copy because he loved it. “For one reason or another, I’ve been drawn to stories about misfit individuals and unusual friendships,” he says. “Elling” is just that, telling the feel-good story of a wimpy, mother-fixated would-be poet played by O’Hare who strikes a friendship in an asylum with Fraser’s bearish former mechanic who loves hot dogs and women - though he has yet to actually date one. The two must fend for themselves when state officials release them from an asylum with the warning that they’ll go back if they don’t show they can live independent lives. Choosing to do the play offered Fraser a chance to fulfill a lifetime dream of being on Broadway and gave him an opportunity to

ohnny Depp’s flamboyant portrayal of Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean” was good enough for an Oscar nomination, but the actor says Disney was less than thrilled. Depp talked about it in an interview with rocker Patti Smith for the January edition of Vanity Fair magazine. Depp said Disney “couldn’t stand” his Sparrow and one person there even asked if

J Music composer, director AR Rahman of “Slumdog Millionaire” performs during his South African leg of the “The Journey Home World Tour- Jai Ho” concert at Durban’s 2010 Moses Mabhida World Cup football stadium. — AFP

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

be closer to his three young sons, who live with his ex-wife in Connecticut. “You have to look at your calendar, your life. Am I going to do another ‘Mummy’ movie? Hey, guess what? I have bills to pay, too. But you just have to carve out the six to eight months that it takes to commit to it.” There’s another, more personal reason he’s happy to be on Broadway. In 1976, he and his family were relocating from their Ottawa home to Europe and stopped in New York. A 6-year-old Fraser was separated from his three brothers and found himself happily wandering around Broadway, watching the crowds spill out at the matinees. When it was time to go, a kindly taxi driver drove him to his hotel and chatted about musicals and theaters. He refused to take Fraser’s money. “He said something to the effect of, ‘I’ll see you on the Great White Way, kiddo!’ I thought, ‘Wow. New York is the coolest place,”‘ recalls the actor. “I guess a seed of some sort was planted.” Fraser has lately been on a crash course of Broadway history, geeked out on learning that his dressing room is the same one that Jessica Tandy used while performing in Elia Kazan’s production of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” He’s also learned that Katharine Hepburn asked for curtains to be installed in the back of the house to block sunlight. As for him, he’s just happy to be there. “I’ll be here until March, until I get fired or something,” he says. “If it goes on any further and if I get a call that I have got to go and clobber some more mummies or something like that, I’ll think about it. But for right now, I’m happy as a clam.” — AP

Sparrow was gay. Depp told the Disney executive “all my characters are gay,” and he said that “really made her nervous.” Depp’s next role is in the movie “The Tourist” with Angelina Jolie. It opens Dec 10. Depp said he felt sorry for the way the paparazzi hunted Jolie, and had to be careful that photographers didn’t catch them too close together so rumors wouldn’t start. — AP

uthorities say Faith Evans has pleaded no contest to reckless driving after being arrested in August for investigation of drunken driving. Los Angeles city attorney spokesman Frank Mateljan says the Grammywinning singer entered the plea Monday and was sentenced to three years of informal probation. Police say the 37-year-old Evans was arrested after being stopped at a checkpoint in Marina del Rey. She is the widow of rapper Christopher Wallace, also known as the Notorious B.I.G. Evans won a Grammy in 1998 for the song “I’ll Be Missing You.” It was not immediately clear whether she was represented by an attorney. A phone message left with her agent, Marc Gerald, was not immediately returned. Evans’ plea was first reported by celebrity website TMZ. — AP




Wednesday, December 1, 2010

By Wendy Clayton KUWAIT: Monday night saw the stage at the Palestinian Cultural Centre light up to the beat of traditional Dabkah dance and song. The courtyard area of the centre was filled with people singing and clapping along to the sights and sounds of Palestinian music and dance. Head of the cultural Committee for preserving Palestinian culture, Siham Abu Gazalih said, “It is wonderful to see so many people enjoying the wonderful display being put on. It really brings out the true meaning of being Palestinian.” It was hard not to want to get

up and join in as dancers twirled and stomped their way around the stage. Accompanied by singers and musicians the air was filled with the exciting sounds of traditional Palestinian music. The evening was concluded with the everyone present singing the Palestinian National Anthem. The Palestinian Cultural Centre is currently hosting the Palestinian Cultural Exhibition, which runs until tomorrow showcasing handicrafts from Palestine. The Dabkah dance will also be performed on tomorrow night at 6.30pm at the Bayt Lothan, on the Gulf Road.

Dancers, singers and musicians perform traditional Palestinian Dabkah dance at the Palestinian Cultural Centre at Bayt Lothan. — Photos by Wendy Clayton


Actors Tony Goldwyn (left) and Sam Rockwell attend the 20th anniversary of The Gotham Independent Film awards in New York, on Monday, Nov 29, 2010. — AP

Director Josh Safdie, actor Ronald Bronstein and director Benny Safdie attend IFP’s 20th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards. — AFP

inter’s Bone,” a stark tale of a young woman trying to keep her family together, won best feature film on Monday night at the Gotham Awards, a key event for independent movies. The film revolves around a small group of people living in the rural mountains of southern Missouri who are involved in making a form of crystal methamphetamine, commonly called “crank.” It also won best ensemble performance at the New York-based awards. The best documentary trophy was given to “The Oath,” which tells parallel stories about Abu Jandal, Osama bin Laden’s former bodyguard and a free man who drives a taxi in Yemen, and Salim Hamdan, a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner caught up in a legal battle to win his release. The Gotham Awards are held annually by the Independent Feature Project, an nonprofit organization founded in 1979 that supports independent filmmaking. The awards give film fans an indication of the top independent movies of the year heading into Hollywood’s film award season. Ronald Bronstein was named breakthrough actor for his work in “Daddy Longlegs,” playing a divorced father of two young boys whom he sees only a couple of weeks a year. Kevin Asch won the breakthrough director category for his debut feature, “Holy Rollers,” which starred Jesse Eisenberg as a young man from an Orthodox Jewish community who is lured into dealing drugs. “Littlerock,” was named best film without a distribution deal, while special tribute awards were given to actor Robert Duvall, actress Hilary Swank, “Black Swan” director Darren Aronofsky and producer and screenwriter James Schamus. The documentary “Waiting for Superman,” which examines problems in the US school system, won the festival genius audience award, a new Gotham Awards category this year. To be eligible, a film must have won an audience award at a US or Canadian film festival from November 2009 to October 2010. Movies and performances singled out at the Gothams are often similar to those nominated for Independent Spirit Awards, another key set of honors for indie movies that is organized by Los Angeles-based group, Film Independent. “Winter’s Bone” was made for a budget of around $2 million and also won the top award at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. At last year’s Gotham Awards, “The Hurt Locker” won best feature and went on to win best film at the Oscars. — Reuters

Actress Winona Ryder

In this file photo (from left) Kim Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian and Khloe Kardashian arrive at the Teen Choice Awards in Universal City, California. — AP

By Rachel Beck he Kardashian sisters are seeking to cut ties with a venture that sold prepaid debit cards under their name after coming under attack for the card’s high fees. The card, which launched three weeks ago, was aimed at young adults, the same group that watches the sisters’ hit cable TV show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” An attorney for the sisters sent a letter Monday to parties affiliated with the card asking them to immediately stop using the names and images of the three sisters. The notice came after Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal warned on Friday that he would investigate the program to see if it violated state laws to protect consumers. He called the card’s fees “predatory.” The Kardashians - Kim, Khloe and Kourtney launched the card on Nov 10, with much fanfare. The “Kardashian Kard” includes a picture of the trio on one side, and the sisters said at the time of the launch they were “excited ... to create their very own financial product.” But almost immediately the Kardashians came under attack by consumer advocates for attaching their names to a card with fees that far surpassed other prepaid debit cards on the market. “The Kardashians have worked extremely long and hard to create a positive public persona that appeals to everyone, particularly young adults,” says the letter from Dennis Roach, legal counsel of Dash Dolls LLC, which represents the three sisters. “Unfortunately, the negative spotlight turned on the Kardashians.” Just to buy the card and use it costs $59.95 for six months, or $99.95 for 12 months. That does not include any money on the card. The person buying the card must add money onto it. The initial feels were just the start. After those six or 12 months are up, it costs $7.95 a month to keep using the card. Users have to pay $1.50 to withdraw cash from an ATM, and $1 to check their balance. Talking to a customer representative on the phone costs $1.50 for each call, and canceling the card costs $6.


Losing the card results in a charge of $9.95. If the loss is reported within two days, then losses are limited to $50. But if the loss or theft is not reported, and the issuer believes the user knew it was lost or stolen, then losses could be as high as $500, according to the terms and conditions on the Kardashian Kard website. Those fees caught the attention of Blumenthal, who said on Friday that he was investigating the card because of the fees and its appeal to financially unsophisticated young adults. “Keeping up with the Kardashians is impossible with this card, where consumers lose money before they use money. Even before consumers spend a dime, the Kardashian Kard fees swallow the card’s value,” Blumenthal said in a statement Monday after news that the Kardashians were cutting ties to the card. In a statement late Monday, card-issuer University National Bank confirmed that it had ended the sale of the Kardashian cards. Consumers who bought the card will get their money back, including fees that they might have incurred, it said. MasterCard, which was a partner in the card, said in a statement that “the decision to end the program affirms that consumers did not find value in this particular prepaid offering.” Representatives from Mobe Inc. and Mobile Resources Card, also affiliated with the card, did not return requests for comment. Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, had come out strongly in recent weeks against the Kardashians for using their celebrity status to hawk a prepaid card loaded with fees. “Any other celebrity or business that is thinking of associating its name with a prepaid card should take a close look at the fees and protections, and say ‘no thanks’ unless the fees are low and the missing consumer protections are added,”Gail Hillebrand, director of Consumers Union’s Defend Your Dollars campaign, said after hearing Monday’s news. Consumer Union is calling on the newly authorized federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to make reining in abusive prepaid card practices a top priority. — AP

A photograph of Madonna hangs in Hard Candy Fitness. By Istra Pacheco s the glass doors of Hard Candy Fitness, Madonna’s first gym, slid open in Mexico City on Monday, a mural of white, black and violet Warholesque images of the Queen of Pop greeted each client. But it was no disco with exercise machines or Hard Rock Cafe-style temple of Madge memorabilia. The facilities are not much different from any other highclass gym in Mexico City, and very little screams that this is Madonna’s first fitness venture, apart from the name - the title of her last album - which she says in fitness parlance is the perfect combination of “hard body” and “eye candy.” “It’s a racy name that gives you the opportunity to have fun and to build strength as far as the imagination will allow,” the singer, dancer, actress, children’s author and clothing designer said in a Q&A provided by her handlers. Still, not every gym opens with a Hollywood red carpet appearance by one of the most power ful women in entertainment, who cut the ribbon Monday night, then taught a dance class for 20 hand-picked members with music by Paul Oakenfold, the DJ who opened her last tour. The star says she chose Mexico City because it was a stop on last year’s Sticky & Sweet tour, which grossed $408 million, second only to the Rolling Stones’ A Bigger Bang Tour. She said she liked the energy of the people. “Our plan is to use Mexico as a place to fine-tune our brand and then expand it to other countries and, in the long term, develop a global brand that includes the United States,” she said in a statement last week, noting that Mexico is close enough to home for her to be heavily involved.


Hard Candy Fitness is seen before its opening.

Madonna said at the opening Monday night that she also chose the country because she loves its culture, food, art and architecture and that she didn’t worry about Mexico’s wave of drug-related violence when deciding where to open the gym. “A lot of places I go are dangerous, like Tel Aviv or Rio (de Janeiro), but that never stops me from going there and putting on a show. I have good security. I don’t worry about that,” she said surrounded by three burly bodyguards. Dozens of police officers and security guards were outside to keep some 300 screaming fans at bay. Though Madonna’s own hard body may not be plastered everywhere in the gym, the singer of “Like a Virgin” is omnipresent in the 30,000-square-foot (2,800-squaremeter) facility in the city’s upscale Bosques de las Lomas neighborhood, much as she has been in pop culture for nearly three decades. Her touch is in the mosaic design of the bathroom tile and in the yoga salon’s bamboo floor imported from China. “She chose the graphics, colors, the machines,” said Chris Dedicik, general director of California-based New Evolution Ventures, Madonna’s partner in creating the gym. “She has weighed in on the choreography of all the classes and given them a twist to make them more dynamic, more special and to better reflect her style.” Members can do cardiovascular exercises on five types of advanced-technology machines chosen by Madonna, many with individual viewing screens and iPod docks. The yoga instructors are trained in various styles of the ancient Indian art, inspired by the knowledge the singer has accumulated in her travels. The yoga room will also have a special wall used in Iyengar yoga, one of very few in the world according to Dedicik, with ropes and steps to help people with less

A worker walks by images of Madonna at Hard Candy Fitness before its opening in Mexico City.

physical ability. A balcony outside will feature plants and Zen-style decor, all at the singer’s request. “If any of you have seen my shows, you know that I don’t skimp on them and the same is true for the gym,” she said. “We spend what it takes to make a globally first-class gym.” At 52, the Material Girl’s own workout regimen is legendary and her physique has been both admired and chided for being overdone. Her famously pumped biceps have been labeled scary by some. Membership runs 2,000 pesos a month, about $160, generally in line with what the best gyms charge in Mexico City. The one-time fee for joining is 10,400 pesos, about $830, which includes the first two months of membership. Those who signed up before the opening paid an initiation fee of 8,900 pesos, a little over $700, also including the first two months. Members who have signed up so far didn’t seem to care about matching Madonna’s workout feats. Those using the gym during a weekend preview said they liked the equipment and features and cited proximity to their home or work as their reason for joining. Ronen Waiss, businessman and Honorary Consul of Lithuania in Mexico, said his office is two doors away and he registered long before he was told it was a venture by Madonna. “I think it’s super motivating of course, but I didn’t know till after I joined,” said Waiss, 32. “But it’s attractive to me because it’s close and has the best computer technology. That’s what caught my attention.” Clara Ruiz, a 59-year-old housewife, said she, too, chose the gym for location. But she likes the facility and wishes Madonna success in her new venture. “She has a lot of experience in this,” Ruiz said. “She’s done it all her life. I think she chose what for her is the best.” — AP

US singer Madonna (front) holds up scissors to cut the ribbon as she poses for pictures during the opening of Hard Candy Fitness, her new gym in Mexico City, Monday Nov 29, 2010. — AP photos

By Alessandra Rizzo talian film director and master of comedy Mario Monicelli, 95, committed suicide Monday by throwing himself out of a hospital window, the ANSA news agency reported, citing hospital sources. Monicelli jumped from a window in the San Giovanni hospital in Rome where he was being treated for a prostate tumor, it said. “Death doesn’t frighten me, it bothers me. It bothers me for example that someone can be there tomorrow and but me I am no longer there. What bothers me is not longer being alive, not being dead,” he said in a 2007 interview with Vanity Fair. Deftly mixing comedy with tragedy, director Mario Monicelli laid bare Italy’s flaws and sins for a half-century on the screen. In his final script of his own life, he chose a dramatic ending: Plunging off the fifth-floor balcony of a Rome hospital Monday night where he had been admitted several days earlier. Monicelli, 95, is being mourned as the last great master in a generation of Italian comic film directors who satirized society, along with Dino Risi and Pietro Germi. “He will be remembered by millions of Italians for the way he moved them, for how he made them laugh and reflect,” President Giorgio Napolitano said yesterday in one of many messages of condolences mourning the Oscar-nominated director. Monicelli was being treated for prostate cancer at the San Giovanni hospital when he leapt to his death, landing near its emergency room entrance to the shock of many patients and relatives waiting at one of Rome’s busiest hospitals. Carlo Verdone, one of Italy’s most popular comic actors, told Corriere della Sera that Monicelli recently was quite depressed and increasingly closed into himself. “He recounted our country with elegance, delicateness, irony,” Verdone said in an interview published yesterday. “Perhaps he couldn’t stand old age any more.” Monicelli helped make Italian comedy famous worldwide with such movies as “Big Deal on Madonna Street” and “The Great War.” In his most accomplished works, Monicelli could effortlessly elicit laughs while touching on serious, even dramatic themes. He directed some of the finest Italian actors, from Marcello Mastroianni to Alberto Sordi. “A comedy that is ironic, sometimes bitter, in some cases even dramatic, tragic: This is what Italian comedy is,” Monicelli once said. “Big Deal on Madonna Street,” the black-andwhite classic released in 1958, describes the adventures of a few poor devils organizing a big-time heist that ends up going awry. The movie stars Vittorio Gassman, Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale and Italian comic icon Toto. A remake of the movie, “Welcome to Collinwood,” starring William H. Macy and George Clooney, was made in 2002. Monicelli’s 1959 movie “The Great War” tells the tragicomical story of two young Italians - played by Gassman and Sordi - who try to avoid going to the front during World War I. The film, by some considered Monicelli’s finest work and the best Italian comedy of all, was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign language movie and won Monicelli a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. “This movie contaminates historical tragedy with the classic motifs of Italian comedy, thus desecrating a topic - World War I massacres that was still taboo for national cinema,” said Italian critic Paolo Mereghetti. Whether set in the Middle Ages, World Wars or modern times, Monicelli’s characters captured the best and the worst of Italians, embodying ignorance, cowardice, generosity and courage in unequal doses. “We (Italians) have remained the same after all,” Monicelli, then 91, said in 2006 upon release of his last movie, “Le Rose nel Deserto” (“Desert Roses”). “We don’t want to be heroes, but if we must die, we do so without making too big a deal of it.” The movie -


In this file photo, American film director Irvin Kershner (right) and actor Peter Weller, as Robocop, are seen during the making of “Robocop II.” — AP

By Robert Jablon hen George Lucas needed someone to direct the sequel to “Star Wars,” he turned to veteran filmmaker Irvin Kershner. Under Kershner’s direction, Luke Skywalker learned that Darth Vader was his father and Han Solo delivered one of his most memorable lines, responding to Princess Leia’s “I love you” with “I know.” Lucas and others in Hollywood on Monday mourned the death of “The Empire Strikes Back” director. Kershner died Saturday at his Los Angeles home after a 31/2-year battle with lung cancer. He was 87. Kershner had already made several wellreceived movies when Lucas tapped him to direct “Empire,” the second “Star Wars” film to be released but the fifth in the overall “Star Wars” chronology. Lucas, the “Star Wars” creator, said he didn’t want to direct the sequel himself. “I needed someone I could trust, someone I really admired and whose work had maturity and humor. That was Kersh all over,” Lucas said in a statement. “I didn’t want ‘Empire’ to turn into just another sequel, another episode in a series of space adventures. I was trying to build something.” Lucas said he considered Kershner a mentor and called him “a great director and one of the most genuine people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.” Released in 1980, “Empire” was a darker story than the original. It initially got mixed reviews but has gone on to become one of the most critically praised. Kershner told Vanity Fair in October that he


tried to give the sequel more depth than the 1977 original. “When I finally accepted the assignment, I knew that it was going to be a dark film, with more depth to the characters than in the first film,” he said. “It took a few years for the critics to catch up with the film and to see it as a fairy tale rather than a comic book.” Kershner said he had only one sharp disagreement with Lucas. The script originally called for the heroine, Princess Leia, to tell space pilot Han Solo “I love you” and for him to reply “I love you, too.” “I shot the line and it just didn’t seem right for the character of Han Solo,” Kershner said. Instead, actor Harrison Ford improvised the reply: “I know.” Lucas wanted the original line but after test previews agreed to leave in Ford’s reply. The Philadelphia-born Kershner studied music, painting and photography before turning to film. He attended the University of Southern California film school and in the 1950s made US government documentaries in Greece, Iran and Turkey. He was a director and cameraman for a television documentary series called “Confidential File” in Los Angeles before getting his first movie break in 1958 when Roger Corman helped finance his first feature, “Stakeout on Dope Street,” which Kershner wrote and produced with colleague Andrew Fenady, said longtime friend and Hollywood publicist Dick Guttman. Kershner went on to direct a number of noted features in the 1960s and 1970s, including “A Fine Madness” with Sean Connery, Joanne

Woodward and Jean Seberg; “The Flim-Flam Man” with George C Scott; “Loving” with George Segal and Eva Marie Saint; and “The Eyes of Laura Mars” with Faye Dunaway. The 1976 television movie “Raid on Entebbe” earned him an Emmy nomination for direction. Along with “Empire,” his big-budget work included the 1983 James Bond film “Never Say Never Again” with Connery and “Robocop 2” in 1990. Kershner also was an occasional actor. He played the priest Zebedee in Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ.” In recent years, Kershner taught screenwriting at the University of Southern California while continuing to produce, write and create still photographs, Guttman said. Francis Ford Coppola said in a statement, “We all enjoyed knowing Kersh, learning from him and admired his creative spirit and indomitable will.” Barbra Streisand, a friend who worked with Kershner on 1972’s “Up the Sandbox,” said, “He had the most incredible spirit, an exuberance for life. Always working, always thinking, always writing, amazingly gifted and forever curious.” At the time of his death, Kershner was working on a documentary about his friend, writer Ray Bradbury, and a musical called “Djinn” about the friendship between a Jewish immigrant and an Arab sheik in Palestine before it became Israel. Kershner is survived by two sons, David and Dana. “My father never really retired. He had a powerful drive to create - whether it be through film, photography or writing,” David Kershner said. — AP

In this file photo, film director Mario Monicelli waves from the catwalk in Venice, Italy. — AP depicting the lives of Italian soldiers stationed in Libya during World War II - marked a return to the theme of conflict almost 50 years after “The Great War.” Monicelli was born in Viareggio, a seaside town in Tuscany, on May 15, 1915. His first notable work came in the late 1940s when he co-directed Toto in a number of successful movies, including the bittersweet “Guardie e Ladri” (known as “Cops and Robbers”) in 1951. The 1963 movie “I Compagni” (“The Organizer”), starring Mastroianni as a professor stirring up unionism in industrial northern Italy, won Monicelli, who also co-wrote the film, an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay. Another Academy Award nomination for best foreign language movie came for “La Ragazza con la Pistola” (known as “Girl with a Pistol”), released five years later and starring Monica Vitti as a Sicilian girl traveling to swinging London to kill her unfaithful lover. Over the course of a career that spanned five decades and over 60 films, Monicelli collected some huge hits. “L’Armata Brancaleone” (“For Love and Gold”), released in 1966, follows the adventures of an unlikely group of men in the Middle Ages led by a pompous knight played by Gassman in one of his most famous roles. In the mid-1970s, “Amici Miei” (known as “My Friends”) again highlights Monicelli’s skills in mixing humor and bitterness in a tale of middle-aged friends who spend their lives organizing sophisticated pranks as a way to deal with failure, loneliness and the prospect of death. A decade later, Monicelli looked at female friendship in a movie about the role of women in today’s family and society, “Speriamo Che Sia Femmina” (“Let’s Hope It’s a Girl”), with an allstar cast including Catherine Deneuve, Liv Ullman and Stefania Sandrelli. Referring to the director’s suicide, Sandrelli told the Italian news agency ANSA that “knowing Mario, this was for him an extreme gesture of freedom, of anti-conformism.” Over his career, Monicelli also worked in TV and wrote countless scripts. Relatives said yesterday a wake was planned for the neighborhood in Rome’s historic center where Monicelli lived so residents could pay their respects but there would be no funeral. — Agencies

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